After a year coordinating artistic programming over at nearby-to-me Central Neighbourhood House, largely in conjunction with the Mandarin Women’s Group, I was asked how I’d feel about leading the youth program in a mural project in the CNH gym. The answer: pretty darned good!
The consultation process with youth began in mid-December. The basic idea was to fill the north wall of the gym with a colourful mural on the theme of community, that would also artistically balance a prior mural project conducted with St. James Town’s own Art City and CNH’s Kidz Klub. We had tonnes of contributions in the form of drawings which we later refined as a group, both conceptually and visually, and arrived at our final design in early January. Diversity emerged as the central concern of participating youth, and we demonstrated this theme through a dense mosaic of enthusiastic-looking figures gathered together into their own cartoon neighbourhood.
We have since successfully laid down the linework and as of last night, had our first session adding colour. Things look pretty good so far, and of course I’ll keep you Y-X/changers updated as to our progress as we float along into our expected end date in February!
It’s the second consultative mural project I’ve worked on, after this past August’s Welcome Home mural at 280 Wellesley, and at about three times the size, it definitely offers some novel challenges. I am indebted to Central Neighbourhood House for this opportunity – just one in an ongoing series I’ve had there – to apply my abilities to such a rewarding project, as well as for the chance to meet and work alongside some uniquely spirited young people. I’ll have more on individual artists in future posts!