After a summer of surveys, design, and planning, at 8 pm Sunday evening, the Welcome Home Project drew to a close with the completion of our mural at 280 Wellesley St. E. A significant 8′ X 16′, the newly created picture brings the large, gentle glow of an eternal dawn to the concrete parkette off Parliament St, brightening the area’s previously dominant greys, while connecting with and amplifying its existing green space through its depiction of nature-inspired imagery.
Throughout the course of production, the team entertained questions from loads of interested locals, from building residents to those strolling from further away. Without explaining the concept, many visitors picked up on the feeling of welcoming immediately, saying that bringing art into the area already provided a meaningful step in this direction.
Most also asked whether we’d be putting more murals up around the building. The immediate answer is “No”, although in the spirit of the BMO Seeds Fund that facilitated our project, I personally hope that ours may prove a seed that helps spark such future growth! Beyond being beautiful, the sense of investment art reflects simply by being present is both a symptom of and precondition to social progress in any area, and with the amazing influx of quality art St. James Town has seen over the last 2 years, it certainly appears we’re headed in the right direction.
I’d like to thank Michael Cavanaugh, Director of St. James Town Arts, for his guidance over the course of this project; Ella Cooper at the Neighbourhood Arts Network, our contact for the BMO Seeds Fund Award; Rani Rivera at Community Corner who introduced me to Maryam and Mehdia Hassan, our youth supervising artists; the management at Wellesley-Parliament Square Apts who generously provided us with mural space (and hardhats!), but more than that, enthusiastically supported our brand of community building; Steven Tran, for volunteering his talents in videography; and of course, the youth artists who have dedicated their time and talent to making our project a success: Natasha Bermas, Sonia Gan, Muneer Hassan.
To witness the evolution of our mural in pictures, check this out!: https://theyxchange.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/pix-welcome-home-mural/