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October 2021 Newsletter

 

Bring #MainStreetArtChallenge to Communities Across Ontario!

Jocelyn Kearns painting a large outdoor mural depicting soft waters with people paddle boarding.

Artist: Justine Wong for Chinatown BIA
Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

Join the 50+ Ontario BIAs who’ve received public art and placemaking support from STEPS by applying to I HeART Main Street and attending the upcoming online information session on October 21, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the program is filled. 

 

This summer’s I HeART Main Street was presented in partnership with RBC Royal Bank and ShowLoveTO produced by the City of Toronto, the Ontario Arts Council and Government of Ontario, to support communities and artists through dynamic public art initiatives!

Videography Credit: Selina McCallum and May Shi

Daily Migration Mural Unveiling

Photograph of mural by Shalak Attack at Wilson TTC Station entrance. The doors are wide open leading to the subway, the mural is of an abstracted bird with vibrant gold eyes and a blue “head” that is resemblant of a globe. There is a nest with eggs above it’s head and colourful geometric shapes radiating around the focus.

Artist: Shalak Attack
Photo Credit: May Shi

Daily Migration is a new 1,400 sq ft. mural by internationally-known artist Shalak Attack and artist mentees Edan Maxam and Kseniya Tsoy that transforms Wilson TTC station into a vibrant cultural space enjoyed by 17,000+ transit visitors daily. Through community storytelling, artmaking workshops and public consultations, this community-informed mural echoes the voices and stories of migration, identity and belonging. 

Join us on October 17, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET for the grand unveiling at Wilson TTC Station (Tippett Rd. Entrance, south of Wilson Ave) that includes a ribbon cutting ceremony, a participatory art activity and light refreshments!

 

Daily Migration is made possible with funding from StreetARToronto, a program by the City of Toronto, and the Government of Ontario, with support from Toronto Transit Commission, the Office of Councillor James Pasternak and Dulux Paints.

Meet New STEPS Staff! 

Photograph of mural by Shalak Attack at Wilson TTC Station entrance. The doors are wide open leading to the subway, the mural is of an abstracted bird with vibrant gold eyes and a blue “head” that is resemblant of a globe. There is a nest with eggs above it’s head and colourful geometric shapes radiating around the focus.

The STEPS team continues to expand to transform public spaces, foster stronger community relationships, and amplify diverse voices through public art initiatives across Canada! Say hello to Sanaa Humayun, Edan Maxam, Kruti Anne Buch and Madison Kennedy who are working within our array of programs and services (and a warm welcome to our new trio of placement students, Vicky Huang, Allison Nesbitt and Lera Den). 

New Mural Art In Thunderbay!

Photograph of mural by Shalak Attack at Wilson TTC Station entrance. The doors are wide open leading to the subway, the mural is of an abstracted bird with vibrant gold eyes and a blue “head” that is resemblant of a globe. There is a nest with eggs above it’s head and colourful geometric shapes radiating around the focus.

Artist: Shelby Gagnon

Emerging Indigenous artist Shelby Gagnon wrapped up her largest mural production yet in Thunder Bay, Ontario with Finnish artist/collaborator Lora Northway and the support of STEPS’ CreateSpace Public Art Residency. As one of ten artists creating socially-engaged public artwork across Canada, Shelby’s mural titled Asutta Aki reflects traditional Anishinaabe and Finnish patterning that explore the history of the city, dreams and connections, and relations to land and identity. This mural encourages future artistic collaborations in Thunder Bay, and facilitates growth and understanding between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Visit Asutta Aki at 226 Ambrose St, Thunder Bay!

Yue Moon Heritage Toronto Awards Nomination

Photograph of mural by Shalak Attack at Wilson TTC Station entrance. The doors are wide open leading to the subway, the mural is of an abstracted bird with vibrant gold eyes and a blue “head” that is resemblant of a globe. There is a nest with eggs above it’s head and colourful geometric shapes radiating around the focus.

Artist: Paddy Leung and Meegan Lim
Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

Yue Moon is in the running for Heritage Toronto’s Public History Award that recognizes multimedia and collaborative projects designed to engage, challenge and educate communities! Join us for the virtual award ceremony on October 18, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT where attendees can also vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Yue Moon is a community-based, multimedia public art program by STEPS that celebrated the 2021 Lunar New Year with Toronto Chinatown BIA, artists PUFF PaddyWinnie Truong and Meegan Lim, and community members who engaged in artmaking and storytelling workshops. 

Visit The Hope in Chinatown  / 曙光再現  Mural

Photo of artist Wenting Li standing in front of her mural in Chinatown. It has three giant cranes intertwined with lotus flowers and roots, and carrying multiple human figures. It has colours of yellow, green, teal, red and pink.

Artist: Wenting Li
Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

Congratulations Wenting and Chinatown BIA for wrapping up a busy September mural season with The Hope in Chinatown / 曙光再現, a public art project that expresses courage, light and community resiliency. Visit the mural in the laneway parking entrance behind Dragon City Mall and Pho Pasteur at 525 Dundas St W, Toronto

Hoarding Exhibit Highlight: Comm(Unity)

Photo of artist Wenting Li standing in front of her mural in Chinatown. It has three giant cranes intertwined with lotus flowers and roots, and carrying multiple human figures. It has colours of yellow, green, teal, red and pink.

Artist: Lindsay Hill
Photo Credit: Mila Bright

Comm(unity) is the latest PATCH hoarding exhibit by Lindsay and Allied REIT at Queen St West at Peter St! This colourful project is a reminder of pre-pandemic times and celebrations to look forward to with the community through joy and laughter. For upcoming hoarding exhibits, follow us @thePATCHproject and tag us in your photos to show support for local public art! 

Interested in working with us to bring one-of-a-kind artwork to your projects? Contact us today to get the conversation started!

From Weeds We Grow:
Community Gathering Recap

Photo of artist Wenting Li standing in front of her mural in Chinatown. It has three giant cranes intertwined with lotus flowers and roots, and carrying multiple human figures. It has colours of yellow, green, teal, red and pink.

Photo Credit: Mila Bright

A little rain did not stop North Etobicoke communities from visiting Rowntree Mills Park and connecting to their local, natural public spaces! From joyful dance performances by choreographer Prempz to vibrant ground murals highlighting imagery connected to the magical Humber River with Lindsey Lickers, this event brought people together to celebrate what the space has to offer. 

This event is a part of From Weeds We Grow, an interdisciplinary public art program that explores the park through artistic, Indigenous, multicultural, environmental and community-based approaches to public space. 

Partners In Art Toronto Walking Tour

Photo of artist Wenting Li standing in front of her mural in Chinatown. It has three giant cranes intertwined with lotus flowers and roots, and carrying multiple human figures. It has colours of yellow, green, teal, red and pink.

Photo Credit: Mila Bright

STEPS enjoyed a day of sunshine with Partners in Art and local artists for an afternoon of learning and public art! From visiting the Equilibrium Mural and World’s Tallest Mural to activities with Bareket Kezwer and chats with Erika James and Toronto-based CreateSpace artists, Charmaine LurchNuff and Yasmeen Nematt Alla, we extend our gratitude to Partners in Art for their enthusiasm and generous support of the CreateSpace Residency. 

External Opportunities 

Supporting artists and arts workers, especially those who face barriers in accessing public art opportunities, is at the core of STEPS’ mandate. Below are some of the current opportunities on our radar.

Building Community During COVID

Thanks to contributions from community members like you, STEPS has supported over 130 public art initiatives and made over $350,000 in direct payments to Canadian artists and designers since the start of the pandemic, including $208,000 in 2021 alone.

Consider making a donation to support this important work! 

Special Thanks To Our Funders and Supporters 

STEPS funder and sponsor logos for Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Government of Canada, Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, Ontario Trillium Foundation, RBC, TD, CIBC, TFVA and Partners in Art

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