A STEPS PROJECT
In celebration of the Lunar New Year, a collaborative public art installation that engaged an intergenerational community of participants and resulted in a public artwork viewed by thousands.
PROJECT AT A GLANCE
Location: Downtown, Toronto (Dragon City Mall, 282 Spadina Ave)
Artist(s): Lead Artist PUFF Paddy with Assistant Facilitators Meegan Lim and Christie Carriere
community members engaged
paid mentorship opportunities
The Chinatown BIA approached STEPS to develop a public art program that would not only build community, but also increase awareness of local businesses within Toronto’s Chinatown neighbourhood. The vision was to launch this cultural experience during the 2020 Lunar New Year celebrations.
With our strong commitment to artist capacity building, STEPS felt it was important to collaborate with neighbouring OCAD University to cultivate unique learning opportunities for emerging local artists and designers.
Working closely with OCADU’s Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers, STEPS was able to identify OCADU alumni PUFF Paddy as lead facilitating artist and together offered several paid opportunities for members of the OCADU community to develop their portfolio, gain valuable community facilitation experience as well as contribute to shaping this unique public project.
“My goal for this program was to bring people together to have fun and make something special with the community. This is the first time that I’ve been able to combine all my strengths and passion for the arts within a project this scale. I’ve gained more confidence and leadership skills to take on bigger projects in the future.”
– PUFF Paddy, Lead Artist Facilitator
Yue Moon (meaning full circle, completion, full moon) aimed to bring the Chinatown community together in the spirit of the Chinese Lantern Festival to explore a contemporary approach to the ancient art of lantern making and create a luminous experience in the public realm. Over three weeks, through a classic Toronto forecast in January including torrential rainstorms and snowstorms, we engaged over 100 workshop participants ranging in age from 2 to 80+. The energy and excitement to be a part of the project was palpable. Each lantern created during the workshops collectively formed the final Yue Moon Public Art Installation, unveiled as part of the Chinatown BIA Lunar New Year celebrations at Dragon City Mall.
This project created space for people to connect, contribute and see themselves reflected within their own community through a collaborative public art installation experience. Yue Moon 2021 will once again bring people together to escape from the darkness and cold of the mid-winter season, to contribute to a public artwork of harmonious and hopeful intention for the coming year.