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Downtown Vernon Mural Project

VIEWS: 67 PAGES: 8

									 Fall/Winter 2004 Volume 5 No. 3




Downtown Vernon Mural Project
Learning in a real world…
one youth at a time
By Michelle Loughery

“Murals are about people having an effect on their cities,
taking responsibility for their visual and physical environment,
leaving records of their lives and concerns, and in the process
transforming neighborhoods, making inspiring artists out of
the youth of our communities.”

“It’s art for the people, this project belongs to everyone from
the funders, to the community, the organizers, the crew and          Downtown Vernon Mural Project’s Ogopogo Mural, depicting the
                                                                     legendary creature of British Columbia’s Lake Okanagan in the First
to the past and future of Vernon.”                                   Nation tradition of N'ha-a-itk.




I
  t all began with a few paintbrushes, some                        Interested students applied for       exposure to the internet or the
                                                                   the job and went through an           job opportunities open to them.
  donated paints, anxious smiles and a                             interview before acceptance              The core idea behind the
  huge vision.           Six years later the vision is a           into the program. Experiences         development of the mural
                                reality.     With     close   to   in the real world motivate            project was the idea to create a
                                two million dollars of funding     profound learning for several         tourism draw to the downtown.
                                from the Government of             reasons. Through the mural            Through the beautification and
                                Canada and the City of Vernon      project, youth learned many           revitalization of the downtown
                                along with thousands of dollars    valuable job-related transfer-        area, a tool for economic gains
                                in donations from the commu-       able skills including teamwork,       would be obtained. Over the
                                nity, the Downtown Vernon          group dynamics, leadership,           duration of the project, I found
                                Mural Project has completed        creative thinking, and problem        that many of the myths regard-
                                26 large-scale heritage murals     solving. The project provides a       ing seniors and youth were
                                on downtown buildings. These       positive and motivating role
                                                                                                         dispelled. The seniors feel com-
                                historic murals are paintings of   modeling alternative leader-
 inside                         the pioneers who played a          ship activity for the youth.
                                                                                                         fortable telling the youth their
                                                                                                         stories and the youth learn
 this issue                     significant role in shaping the
                                Vernon of today. The murals
                                                                      Educational activities associ-
                                                                   ated with the development of
                                                                                                         about community history
                                                                                                         through storytelling. The
                                are paintings of actual photo-     these murals are a critical
 Global Mural Conference                                           component of the project.             project seems to be a draw in
  ________________________2     graphs found in the Greater
                                                                   During sessions each week, the        the community–a live theatre
                                Vernon Museum or donated by
 Arte Para Todos                local residents. This project      youth studied the historical          production at times–with
 _______________________3
                                has involved much more than        content and message of each           residents and tourists alike
 Mural Funding                  just sketching a few designs       mural, and took field trips to        sitting to watch the progress. I
 _______________________4                                                                                strongly believe that the mural
                                and taking up the brush. What      some of the other murals
 Youth mural project            began as a four-month              completed in Vernon as well as        project was the catalyst in
 _______________________6                                                                                Vernon for the revitalization of
                                program has turned into a six-     internet traveling to other
                                year project with close to 100     mural sites. The youth learned        the downtown. Without the
 Hillcrest Village Mural
 _______________________7       youth taking part in the com-      how to create a portfolio and         mural project the downtown
                                munity participatory creation.     resume–many of the youths             could well have gone on to
 National Symposium
 _______________________8          The project was structured      who are creating these murals         further decay and neglect,
                                like     any    full-time   job.   have never had significant                            See Vernon, page 7
OFF THE WALL Fall/Winter 2004

from the Executive Director
There’s always something exciting in the
air when summer fades to autumn and
this year is no exception! Planning for
our annual symposium has been in high
gear for the last couple of months and
those of you joining us in Toronto on
November 12, 13 and 14 will not be
disappointed.
   Here is a sampling of what’s in store:
Director of the Toronto Sculpture
Garden and public art consultant–Rina
Greer–will be inspiring us with her                    Charcoal Oven Mural by Chris Krieder, 2003, at 595 Aultman St., Ely, NV. One of 20 murals that
                                                       make up Ely’s Outdoor Art Experience.
keynote speech; renowned trompe l’oeil
artist John Pugh comes to us from Los
Gatos, CA to share his work and give                   Global Mural Conference                               Sarah Sweetwater introduced us to
                                                                                                          labyrinths and there was a demonstration
tips on creating trompe l’oeil; artists                August 25-28, 2004                                 of barbed wire sculpture by Bernie
Phillip Woolf, John Hood, and Rudi                     Ely Nevada                                         Jestrabek-Hart. Some of the best parts of
Stussi host an artists’ information ses-
                                                                                                          a good conference are the after hours
sion; and Louise Aspin, Campaign                       By Karin Eaton
                                                                                                          networking and brainstorming. There was


                                                       A
Manager for the Ontario Science Centre                        t first glance, there is nothing much       plenty of time for that, while we soaked up
will be holding a corporate fundraising                       around Ely, Nevada but miles and            the ambience of local haunts such as the
clinic. For complete program informa-                         miles of desert. My first glance was a      Jailhouse Casino Motel and the Hotel
tion and registration–please visit                     bird’s eye view from the Scenic Airlines 19        Nevada.
www. muralroutes.com.                                  passenger Twin Otter aircraft from Las                While it is true that Ely is in the middle
   For the past eight years, Mural                     Vegas. En route the landscape changed              of the desert, it is not an isolated commu-
Routes has been gathering mural artists                from the flat, dry and sandy to mountain-          nity. It seems that all roads in Nevada
and administrators together to learn                   ous with high desert vegetation and                converge in Ely. The town and surrounding
from one another and share their own                   glimpses of water courses reflecting in the        White Pine County has a colourful history
experiences at our annual symposia.                    sunset. Nestled in a valley, the lights of Ely     and is bustling, busy and entrepreneurial. It
This year promises to be one of our                    appeared like an inviting oasis. At an eleva-      has a culturally diverse population with
best–I hope to see you all there!                      tion of 6260 ft. the night air was unexpect-       proud local traditions. It is a hub of
Jackie Santos is the Executive Director of             edly chilly. There is only one flight a day to     tourism, particularly for outdoor enthusi-
Mural Routes.                                          Ely, and I had arrived too late for the            asts. It boasts one of the most complete and
                                                       artists’ reception, the official opening of the    active railway museums in North America.
 Mural Routes Board of Directors:                      conference by founder Karl Shutz, the              And yes, there’s gambling and cowboys as
 President: Karin Eaton                                entertainment by the Silver Eagle                  well. This is what happens when you follow
 Vice President: John Hands
 Treasurer: Barb Beecroft                              Shoshone Dancers and the Murals by Dark            the mural trail–you end up in towns you
 Secretary: Hedi Greenwood                             tour. And that was just the evening agenda.        might never have visited otherwise.
 Directors: Louise Aspin, Carol Knowlton-Dority,
 Mark Dias                                                Our conference hosts, Ely Renaissance           Gordon, Baron Prestoungrange invited
 Executive Director: Jackie Santos                     Group, created a dense conference                  everyone to gather in Scotland for the 2006
 Newsletter staff:                                     program and managed it with superb effi-           Global Mural Conference. And it was
 Editor: Andrea Raymond
 Layout/design: Janice Bennink                         ciency and delightful hospitality. There           announced that in 2008 the conference will
 Contributors: Karin Eaton, Michelle Loughery,         was a wide variety of presentations, too           take place in Tasmania, Australia.
 Karole Marois, Brenda Sedgwick and Trudy Turner
                                                       many to mention all. Over the course of               The conference was a great opportunity
 Mural Routes gratefully acknowledges the hard
 work and generosity of many individuals and
                                                       the conference there were updates of               to make new friends, renew old acquain-
 organizations. It receives support from the Ontario   mural projects in Lampoc, CA, Moose                tances and forge the bonds of the mural
 Trillium Foundation, the City of Toronto through
 the Toronto Arts Council, Banner and Mural and
                                                       Jaw, Sask., 29 Palms, CA and Ely, NV . We          community. With thanks to members of
 Graffiti Transformation programs. Mural Routes        heard artists’ perspectives from John Ton,         the Ely Renaissance Society (particularly
 was founded by Scarborough Arts Council, with
 whom it continues to partner with in the arts.
                                                       Roger Cooke, Vicky Andersen, Art                   Lorraine Clark) who did a great job of
                                                       Mortimer and John Pugh, to name a few.             introducing us to their Outdoor Art
                                                       There were impressive displays by artists          Experience and of hosting an excellent
                                                       and organizations from across the globe.           event. They helped to make connections,
 Mural Routes                                          Using the Mural Routes website as a tool,
 1859 Kingston Road,                                                                                      let’s keep them active.
 Scarborough ON M1N 1T3                                I presented the Mural Map of Canada and
                                                                                                          Karin Eaton is the President of Mural Routes.
 tel: 416.698.7995; fax: 416.698.7972                  discussed opportunities to get on the map.
 e-mail: info@muralroutes.com
 web: www.muralroutes.com
                                                                                                  Fall/Winter 2004 OFF THE WALL


Arte Para Todos                                           (Art for All) Festival in Honduras
By Karole Marois
                                                                                                          July 15 - 30, 2004
                                                              education, the beach and looking towards the blue
On March 31, 2004, I received                                 protection of the horizon. A simple, universal message
an unusual email:                                             environment, the of love and peace. The title is
                                                              combat            of “Esperanza”.
Dear friend,                              HIV/AIDS, malaria and other                    Like its neighbours from
Congratulations for your excellent        diseases, the promotion of gender Guatemala, El Salvador and
work. I am currently making a big         equality and empowering of women, Nicaragua, Hondurans witnessed
cultural event in Tegucigalpa,            the reduction of child mortality, the their share of real images of revolu-
Honduras in July, artists from all over   eradication of extreme poverty and tions and hardships. Our artworks
the world will come and paint murals      hunger, the improvement of mater-
and make sculptures. At the same time                                                  were to bring messages of hope and
                                          nal health, and the defence of
there will be two weeks of Latin                                                       compassion.
                                          human rights.
Culture music, dance and interchange.                                                    Fifty-six artists were brought
                                             The United Nations, the Office
I am annexing the information related                                                  together in Tegucigalpa, joined by
                                          of the First Lady of Honduras, and
to the event, it would be great to see    the City of Tegucigalpa would pay our love of art, adventure, and
you here.                                 all expenses, i.e., the airfare, hotel, humanitarian causes. We were truly
Best regards, Peter Claesson              food, transportation, events, trips a mixture of cultures, languages, ages
                                          and art materials. In exchange, we and styles. Around 40 international
   I was tempted to simply delete         artists would donate our time and artists (two from Canada) and 16
the message, but I decided to read        artwork to the people of Honduras. from Honduras created each a mural
the annex and investigate the                Hmmmm... I searched the web or sculpture.
source. Peter Claesson is with the        for more info.                                 In addition to this, several young
United Nations Development                   Honduras has a rich artistic Honduran artists and approximately
Program (UNDP) and the brain-             history, starting with the Mayan 80 Honduran volunteers, some from
child of this cultural event called       civilization, and a deep appreciation Escuela de Bellas Artes (School of
“Arte Para Todos” (Art For All). He       of art. Ninety per cent of the popu- Fine Arts) and some from
had apparently found my name on           lation is now Mestizos (Spanish and Universidad                  Autónoma           de
the web. The festival was taking          Indigenous) and speak Spanish. Honduras helped with the artwork.
place in Tegucigalpa, the capital of      There is a small percentage of
                                                                                                     See Tegucigalpa page 4
Honduras, from July 15 to 30.             Indigenous
   Hmmmm...                               people, and some
   The aim was to bring life to           Garifunas        of
downtown Tegucigalpa with murals          African descent
and sculptures created by national        in the North,
and international artists. By doing       a l o n g t h e
so, the event would offer the local       Caribbean Sea.
citizens the opportunity to enjoy            A quick check
public art. The artwork would trans-      w i t h t h e
mit positive messages and invite          C a n a d i a n
people to reflect, while improving        Embassy, and I
the appearance of public spaces.          naturally accept-
Tegus, as the Hondurans call it, is       ed the invitation.
generally visitors’ first impression of      The sketch I
Honduras and “this is important for       sent to the UNDP
the tourist sector,” said Peter           office related to
Claesson, coordinator of the United       the themes of
Nations Volunteers.                       maternal health,
   The themes for the development         child mortality
of the sculptures or murals were          and hunger. I
“The Millennium Development               chose to portray a
Goals”. Those goals included the          young family hav-      Artist Karole Marois (centre) with University students in Tegucigalpa, while
achievement of universal primary          ing a picnic on a working on her mural near the airport.

                                                                                                                                                3
OFF THE WALL Fall/Winter 2004



Funding
                                                                                                      pretty much the only reason for an
                                                                                                      individual business to part with
                                                                                                      their hard-earned cash. As an
                                                                                                      administrator, it is your job to con-
The business end of murals                                                                            vince them that your project will be
                                                                                                      good for their business. If the wall
                                                                                                      you want for your mural is on their
By Trudy Turner                                  contribute funds. With these programs,         building, this is easy! I am sure you



Y
       ou are a strong believer in murals.       each community designates its individ-         work hard to promote the murals in
                                                 ual priorities. Therefore, to be success-      your area–conducting tours, creating
       You have great ideas, fabulous
                                                 ful you must get in on the ground level        calendars, holding dedication events,
      walls just waiting for a mural, and        and do your pitch to the people deciding       and sending out press releases. Just
talented       artists    waiting      to        on the neighbourhood priorities–before         share that information with your busi-
create. All you need is the cash. Where          all the funds are designated. These peo-       ness owner (along with all the benefits
                                                 ple must believe in the ability of murals      of murals reducing/eliminating graffiti,
can you find the money to do all that
                                                 to transform a neighbourhood, reduce           etc.) and they’ll be thrilled to partici-
you want?                                        graffiti, instill or reinforce community       pate! This works extremely well when
                                                 pride - all the good things we all know        you are only asking for a relatively small
     Don’t despair–there are an amazing          and consider common knowledge.                 portion of the cost of the project (under
     number of ways to find funds for your       Unfortunately, common knowledge is             50 per cent). Other businesses not actu-
     program. This article will cover the most   not as common as you may think and             ally “receiving” the mural (ie. it’s not on
     often used method that we implement in      many people are not aware that murals          their building) can also be enticed to
     the West End of Winnipeg. Although          are anything other than pretty pictures.       participate especially if your project is
     not all of these components or sugges-      If you do your job right, and they under-      on a community club or other venue
     tions will work in every community,         stand the far-reaching benefits of             where people gather. Having their name
     some will work in all communities.          murals, the funding bodies will be             on the project will provide great expo-
     Collaborative Funding                       thrilled to financially support your           sure to the attendees (translation:
        Although often the easiest way to cre-   program.                                       potential future customers!). It will also
     ate murals, this method involves serious       Independent                philanthropic    create awareness within the community
     research into what sources are available    foundations are located in virtually           that that business is a good corporate
     to you in your community. A true col-       every major centre and often in smaller        citizen– recognition that is very difficult
     laborative project will involve funding     communities (in Winnipeg we have               for businesses to get on their own. If the
     and/or in-kind support from many            organizations such as the Winnipeg             business offers paint or scaffolding, sell-
     sources–we have had up to six different     Foundation         or      Thomas       Sill   ing them on the project is easy because
     “sponsors” for our projects and we          Foundation). These usually only accept         it provides them with product related
     rarely have less than three.                applications from registered charities         advertising of their business interest.
        So where do you find these               but often you can partner with such            Neighbourhood residents
     partners? There are several avenues to      organizations within your community to         and community groups
     explore with each mural project including   complete the applications. Again, ensur-
                                                                                                   If you know that your project is going
     funding bodies, other non-profit/commu-     ing they understand the far-reaching
                                                                                                to have wide appeal to the community,
     nity groups, business owners, related       benefits of murals makes the sell much
                                                                                                by all means consider launching a com-
     businesses, neighbourhood residents, etc.   easier. Other granting bodies can
                                                                                                munity campaign. As an example of this,
                                                 include organized community groups
     Funding Bodies                                                                             we recently had a mural painted hon-
                                                 (like the Shriners, Lions Club, Rotary
        These can be government agencies,                                                       ouring a “local hero” from our commu-
                                                 Club, etc.). These groups can be
     independent philanthropic foundations                                                      nity–Zoohky. Although this fellow
                                                 persuaded to fundraise for a special
     or other granting bodies such as com-                                                      meant nothing to anyone outside our
                                                 project – especially if it is meaningful to
     munity groups. As an example of gov-                                                       community, once we painted Zoohky 35
                                                 their group. The secret to getting buy-in
     ernment agencies, we are fortunate in                                                      feet tall the community was in awe.
                                                 from these organizations is to choose a
     Winnipeg to have some good programs                                                        Word quickly spread and we received
                                                 project that complements the individual
     offered by city/province collaboratives                                                    cheques and contributions not only from
                                                 organizations goals and interests.
     such as Neighbourhoods Alive! and the                                                      within the community but from across
     Building Communities Initiative. These      Individual Business                            the country – as former residents heard
     are programs designed for the better-       Contributions                                  about the project. After the mural was
     ment of core area or “at risk” communi-       Individual businesses get involved           completed, the community wanted to
     ties and both the province and the city     because it’s good for business. That is        see Zoohky’s trademark bike added.


 4
                                                                                                   Fall/Winter 2004 OFF THE WALL


Once we committed to this, a local busi-        projects! Not only will you be pleasantly
ness owner came forward and offered a           surprised at the results, but you’ll also be
whopping $2,500 to help us get the job          spreading the word and educating people
done. We are now running a matching             about the many, many advantages to com-
funds campaign with the community so            munity murals. (AND the more you do it,
that every dollar donated is matched by         the easier it gets!)
this initial donation (up to the maximum        Next Issue: The more creative fund-raising
of $2,500). A relatively painless way to        ideas: Mural Mentorship & Mural
generate $5,000 in additional funds that        Restitution
will complete the project.                      Trudy Turner is Executive Director of West End
   So quit trying to go it alone and go after   BIZ Inc.
partners for every one of your mural


                                                                                                 tory that private companies supported
   Revitalizing Tegucigalpa from page 3                                                          cultural projects.
                                                                                                    First Lady, Aguas Ocaña de
      The Hotel Plaza San Martin                paint was Vimex, a sort of very elastic          Maduro was very supportive with her
   contributed to the event by providing        vinyl exterior acrylic latex. I do not           hospitality and financial help. In hon-
   individual rooms for the 56 artists.         know how long these murals will last,            our of all the artists who transformed
   Various restaurants supporting the           but I hope the colours do not fade for at        the city, she arranged a farewell gala
   development project donated the              least another five years.                        party in the Presidential Palace.
   superb dinners.                                 My mural was painted on the                      Shannon Claesson, Peter’s wife, also
      UN volunteer drivers and coordina-        Estadio Nacional (Ntl Stadium), and I            dedicated muchissimo of her time and
   tors were provided for each group of         managed to complete it before an                 energy for this event, and made sure her
   artists.                                     important soccer game took place that            husband’s dream came true. The artists
      Since we only had 15 days to com-         was going to force the removal of the            are enthusiastically waiting to hear
   plete our work, we were eager to start       scaffold. Before I had time to relax, the        about Peter Claesson’s next artistic
   ASAP, but in Honduras, nothing hap-          hotel asked me if I would paint anoth-           dream,      and     wherever     it   is,
   pens immediately. “Mañana por la             er mural near the airport, and I crazily         I’m in!
   mañana” is always better.                    agreed. Loca! With only three days left
                                                                                            Karole Marois is an Ottawa artist and
      We had of course a few problems.          before my departure, I painted a por- painter.
   Many of the artists ended up with a          trait of a young Honduran girl and the
   different wall than the one intended.        written message
   Mine was 14 feet high by 21 feet wide,       said: “When I
   therefore more horizontal. I was not         grow up, I will be
   able at the time to do such a great job      a pilot.” The pro-
   of modifying my image to fit the wall.       motion of gender
   My mural started at 30 feet above the        equality       and
   raised sidewalk, which meant I needed        empowering of
   five levels of scaffolding. Because of the   women          was
   risk of theft, the scaffold had to be dis-   another       “UN
   mantled every night, and reassembled         Millennium
   every morning, so fortunately the UN         Goal” theme.
   decided to hire two armed guards to             Individual
   watch my scaffold at night.                  owners and com-
      Platforms were difficult to find, so      panies sponsored
   the few narrow and warped wooden             the        marble,
   platforms would have to do.                  metal, ceramic
      Comex, a Mexican company,                 and cement for
   provided the paint and some brushes.         the sculptures.
   Many of us brought our favourite             Peter Claesson
   brushes from home. Although not all          stated that this
                                                                      At work on Tegucigalpa’s Estadio Nacional (National
   colours       were      available,     the   was the first time    Stadium)
   primary colours were in store. The           in Honduran his-



                                                                                                                                             5
OFF THE WALL Fall/Winter 2004


Mural tells a story
                                                                 This past summer, Mural Routes                 of metamorphosis.
                                                                 partnered with Scarborough Arts                   Located at 2446 Kingston Rd. in
                                                                 Council once again to create a                 Scarborough, the mural was painted over
of change                                                        summer       mural      mentorship
                                                                 program that culminated in the
                                                                                                                the course of the summer. Mentor, Leah
                                                                                                                Burns, led youth artists Ellen and Katy
                                                                 creation of a butterfly inspired               through the entire process of creating
                                                                 mural, titled Chrysalis.                       mural, starting with research, and culmi-
                                                                    Designed by artist mentor Leah              nating in a finished piece.
                                                                 Burns, and youth artists Katy                     After completing Chrysalis, Ellen said,
                                                                 Mulla and Ellen Bleiwas, the                   “The concept of becoming an artist is
                                                                 mural was inspired by stories told             something that I’ve always been drawn to.
                                                                 to the artists by Scarborough                  I have chosen, at least for now, to keep
                                                                 Storytellers - Bluffers Tales.                 this in my personal life while pursuing
                                                                 Working with themes of metamor-                other paths professionally. But the
                                                                 phosis, transition and migration,              opportunity to work on a mural, to be an
                                                                 members of Bluffers Tales told a               Artist as a form of employment, is some-
                                                                 series of stories to the mural                 thing quite amazing to me. This summer’s
                                                                 artists. These stories were trans-             employment has left an impact on me,
                                                                 lated into a beautiful design that             saying ‘if you REALLY want to, you CAN
                                                                 celebrates the experiences of com-             make a life for yourself as an artist’.”
                                                                 munity members who left their                     Chrysalis is part of Mural Routes’ Urban
                                                                 homes to come to Canada. The                   Trail. Visit the mural at 2446 Kingston Rd.
Chrysalis, in progress during Mural Routes’ summer
2004 mentorship program                                          butterfly is a central figure to the           or online at www.muralroutes.com .
                                                                 mural, a physical representation

 Yvonne Garson is one of the members of Bluffers        on her arm. The picture was taken on their farm in      stopped him.
 Tales, a storytelling group based in Scarborough.      Poland, before the war. She said the butterfly land-        When we got to the Toronto airport, Tatus, our
 Yvonne’s story resonated with the muralists, and is    ed on her arm just as the picture was taken. I kept     father took us to our new home, on Labelle Street
 depicted in their mural along with stories told by     thinking about how much I would miss Babcia.            in Orillia. We stayed in a government house. “It’s
 other members of Bluffers Tales. Also particularly         Babcia and Dzadio, Wujo Tolo, and Ciocia Cezia,     just temporary”, said Tato, until we can afford to
 inspiring was the story of The Butterfly and the       our uncle and aunt came to the airport to see us        buy our own house.
 Duchat, told by Anna Kerz. This collaboration of       off. Babcia and Dzadio brought gifts for every-             It was a long cold winter, that first winter in
 storytelling and mural art was a great success, as
                                                        one. Krys, my oldest sister, loved to read so she       Orillia. Mama sewed rabbit fur into the lining of
 can be seen when looking at the finished piece,
                                                        received books. Dzadio had carved my brother            our Burberry, navy blue English coats to keep us
 Chrysalis.
                                                        Richard a beautiful wood horse. You see, back in        warm. The kids at school laughed and made fun of

 The Gift              By Yvonne Garson
                                                        Poland Dzadio had raised horses, and loved them
                                                        with all his heart. My little sister Dorothy was only
                                                                                                                our funny coats and they laughed and made fun
                                                                                                                of our accent. And my 2nd grade teacher gave me
     My parents and I are from the old country, they    three and Babcia had made her a raggedy doll with       the strap for standing inside the door of the
 are Polish, and met in London, England after World     button eyes and embroidered mouth. Her name             school to keep warm. I didn’t like it in this cold,
 War II. My Babcia ran a boarding house for Polish      was Lala. Babcia gave me something special              unfriendly, new country and I missed Babcia. I
 ex-officers, and that is where my mother met and       too. “Something to remember me by” Babcia said.         wished I was back in London England with her. I
 married my father. Tatus, my father, heard from a      It was the picture of Babcia and the butterfly.         would lie on my bed with my picture propped up
 good friend of his that Canada was a good place to         “Are you sure you want to give me the picture,      against my legs, and imagine that I was in Poland,
 live and to find a job. So Tatus decided that we       Babcia?” I asked sadly. Babcia just pressed the         on the farm, in that wonderful field of wildflowers
 would move to Canada.                                  picture into my hand and nodded. I put the              and butterflies with Babcia. And even though the
     Tato went ahead to Canada to find a job and a      picture carefully into my little leather satchel.       picture was in sepia color, I imaged the colors of
 place to live. Mama stayed behind to look after us         We all hugged and kissed and cried, said our        the wildflowers and the hundreds of butterflies. I
 four kids and to pack. Mama didn’t have boxes, so      goodbyes, hugged and kissed and cried some              daydreamed about their colors: orange and black,
 she bundled up our belongings in blankets and          more, and then it was time to board the big             blue, red, green, or maybe even rainbow colored.
 quilts and sewed them up, “just like gypsies”, she     jumbo jet. It was a bit scary, being on that big        I had a good imagination.
 jokingly said. We took only our clothes and personal   jumbo jet, especially at take-off time. But the             Finally spring arrived. Buds started appearing
 possessions and Mama’s dishes and pots and             stewardesses were all very nice. They showed us         everywhere. Beautiful apple and cherry trees in
 pans. Everything else was sold.                        the throw-up bags and to put our heads between          full bloom lined the streets. We would go for long
     We stayed with Babcia and Dzadio, our grand-       our legs if there was an emergency. They brought        walks in the country. Then one day we found a
 mother and grandfather until it was time to leave.     us coloring books and crayons and these sugary          field, full of wildflowers. It was just like the one in
 I loved spending time with Babcia. She told the        sweet little biscuits called cookies. We’d never had    my Babcia’s picture. And there, before my eyes, I
 most wonderful stories of life in Poland, back on      cookies before. Mama bought us lunch; we had            couldn’t believe it: hundreds of butterflies. “Look
 the farm, before the war. She really missed            sandwiches for the very first time. The bread tasted    at them all,” I cried. And then I whispered as if
 Poland. She had a special picture she kept on the      a bit salty. We’d never had sandwiches like that        Babcia could really here me “They’re here
 dresser in her bedroom. It was a picture of her        before. Then my brother had to go to the wash-          Babcia. The butterflies are here too. And they like it
 standing in a field of wildflowers with a butterfly    room. He thought the outer door was the bathroom        here in this new country.”
                                                        door and tried to open it. A stewardess quickly

 6
                                                                                              Fall/Winter 2004 OFF THE WALL

Mural celebrates diversity in
Toronto’s Hillcrest Village                                                                   Bustamante Property Management;
                                                                                              Celebrational F.X. Inc.; Jamieson
By Brenda Sedgwick                                                                            Cleaners; and Maple Paints.


A
      vision to beautify Hillcrest Village                                                       Come to Hillcrest Village, Toronto,
      Business Improvement Area (BIA)                                                         view the mural and visit the menagerie of
      and mobilize an inclusive climate                                                       restaurants and specialty shops on St.
for business, cultural and social diversity                                                   Clair Avenue West between Christie and
inspired a partnership between Hillcrest                                                      Winona. Drop by the BIA office at 747 St.
Village BIA and Skills for Change to paint                                                    Clair Ave. W. to learn more about the
the Welcome to Hillcrest Village mural on a                                                   upcoming streetscaping and storefront
wall donated by Skills for Change.                                                            façade improvements in the area.
   The partnership grew to include busi-                                                      Brenda Sedgwick is the General Manager of the
ness, community, government and citizen        Hillcrest Village mural painting team in       Hillcrest Village Business Improvement Area.
supporters contributing thought, laughter,     October 2004: Rudy, Jay, Krista, Jim, Emily,
effort, materials or cash to the first mural   Bill, Donio and Krista.
of our emerging gateway gallery commu-
nity arts and youth employment initiative.       Primary project sponsorship was from                               Mural Production: A
The initiative is part of the BIA’s overall    Hillcrest Village property owner levy;                               Resource Handbook
streetscaping, façade improvement and          Skills for Change; Wood Green                                         will be available for
social-economic development vision.            Employment & Immigration Services;                                     sale at the 8th
   Under the direction of professional         City of Toronto Economic Development                                    National Mural
muralists, William Lazos and Jim Bravo,        Office; Toronto Parking Authority;                                      Symposium and will
                                                                                                                        be sent out free-
the painting was assisted by youth artists     HRDC       Job    Creation    Program;                                   of-charge to all
Jay Cartasano and Rudolfo Chiguichon;          Thunderbird Consulting; Councilor Joe                                     new and current
using a design created by Joel Castillo.       Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s); Acappella                                   Mural Routes
Additional mural artists include Emily         Clothing; Ferro Bar & Café; Dave’s                                  members. Look for it
Colquhoun, Krystal Bujoldi, Donniel            Gourmet Pizza; Eglinton Florist; Good               for sale soon at www.muralroutes.com
Salas, Jessica Volte and Crystal Piche.        News Church; Northern Realty; Manuel


Vernon Mural Project from page 1                           “People are going to see the murals, but I am going to remember
                                                           what it took to make it.”~ Chris, Mural Project participant 2001
                                                           by a community, and to be          and conflicts. Art for the people, a door to
                                                           heard in the community devel-      communicating.
                                                           opment with the City Officials        The impacts of the project are multi-
                                                           and Board of the Downtown          layered. The process provides structure by
                                                           Vernon Association. It was         creative activities within a familiar setting:
                                                           through these partnerships         one's own community. The process allows
                                                           that    this    professionally     participants to develop artistic abilities,
                                                           designed revitalization project    learn about history, articulate ideas, work
                                                           continues to enhance the city’s    in groups, develop an idea into a cohesive
                                                           welcoming      and     friendly    visual message, and bring their voices and
                                                           atmosphere. This interactive       vision to their own streets. In addition, the
                                                           approach to the mural project      project's “product”–the mural itself-
Downtown Vernon’s mural of C.E. Perry, Chief Engineer of
the Shuswap & Okanagan Railway                             allowed the general public to      –becomes a trophy of a polished and
                                                           be involved in bridging gener-     concrete achievement. The project also
but the murals highlighted the need to                     ational and social divides and     impacts the greater community: parents,
improve the setting. During the experi-         generating a sense of community through       friends, neighbors and local businesses
ence the community has wholeheartedly the arts. The murals have allowed the                   take pride in a project well done, make
shown its support of this project through community to transform their life stories           contributions and engage in discussion
donations in kind, donations, pictures, into dramatic visual presentations that               about the work.
stories, along with food and clothing for explore social issues, shed light on neigh-         Michelle Loughery is the Project Manager
the youth on the project. It was an incred- borhood history, and draw from their              Creator/Lead Artist of the Downtown Vernon
ible experience to be so warmly embraced imagination answers to community issues
                                                                                              Mural Project


                                                                                                                                       7
OFF THE WALL Fall/Winter 2004


                                             National Mural Symposium
                                   brings trompe l’oeil master to Toronto
                         Mural Routes invites you to Toronto to attend             more than 25 years, specializing in integrated art
                         the 8th National Mural Symposium in Canada.               and architecture projects. She is also the Director of
                         With a mandate to “teach, learn and share                 the Toronto Sculpture Garden, a position she has
                         valuable insight in mural art” the annual sympo-          held since it opened in 1981.
                         sium is the place to network, share knowledge, ask           From 1994-2002, she was the art consultant for
                         questions, discuss relevant issues and learn about        the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). She
                         new ventures in outdoor mural projects.                   developed an integrated art program for the five
                            To launch the event, the Symposium is pleased          new stations on the Sheppard Subway Line that
                         to welcome John Pugh, master of architectural             opened in November 2002. She also created the
                         trompe l’oeil, from Los Gatos, CA for an exciting         public art program for 22 artworks along Spadina
                                            slide presentation on Friday,          Avenue for the Spadina LRT (1997).
                                            November 12. Pugh paints                  Greer is currently working both as art consultant
                                            trompe l’oeil murals and has the       and as a member of the design team for the redesign
                                            ability to effectively integrate       of the public courtyards and perimeter streets of the
                                            them into specific environ-            Richmond Adelaide Centre and she is the art con-
                                            ments. Using the “language” of         sultant member of the HTO team that will design
                                            life-size illusions allows him to      two parks for the Toronto waterfront.
                                            communicate with a very large             The main venue for the Symposium is the
                                            audience. He’s worked on an            Comfort Suites City Centre Toronto, 200 Dundas
                                            array of national public art           Street East. A tour of some of Toronto’s many
                                            projects–completing over 200           murals will take place on Saturday. On Sunday,
                                            murals, and has received inter-        the wrap-up session takes place at Todmorden
                                            national attention for his work.       Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre on
                                               On Saturday November 13,            Pottery Road. To register, or for more information
                                            the National Mural Symposium           call Mural Routes at 416-698-7995, email:
                                            presents Keynote Speaker Rina          info@muralroutes.com or visit the website at
                                            Greer, a public art consultant for     www.muralroutes.com.

                                           The Dirt on Bishop by John Pugh, 10’ x 10’, for Art in Public Places, Bishop Mural Society, Bishop
                                           CA. Inscribed with a land title, the wall-tablet unwraps from the curved packed soil like the peel
                                           of an orange. This layered core sample of Bishop earth represents a sedimentary survey of the
                                           town’s heritage. Inset shows detail of dog. Photo: Courtesy John Pugh.


 Become a member            You can support the goals of Mural Routes with your membership. Members will receive mailing
                            of all newsletters, and communication about future symposia, think tanks and discounts on
 of Mural Routes!           registration fees. Member artists will have their contact information posted on the Web site.


  COST       Individuals $25
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             Corporate membership $150                                 available. Please visit www.muralroutes.com

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                                              Mural Routes Inc., 1859 Kingston Road, Scarborough, Ontario, M1N 1T3
                                              tel: 416-698-7995

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