Leslie Nymark Public Art Project
A STEPS PROJECT
Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) and Tridel worked with STEPS to facilitate a public art project in the Villaways / Leslie Nymark community. In March 2020, STEPS invited Ontario-based artists and artist collectives to submit proposals for an exterior public art installation to be completed within the revitalized Leslie Nymark community. Selected by a committee of residents and professional public artists, Toronto-based graffiti artist Jessey Pacho was awarded the exciting commission to create a new, large-scale public artwork designed collaboratively with Leslie Nymark residents beginning June 2021.
Project at a Glance
Location: 1 Okra Tomar Crescent and 2 Adra Grado Way, North York, Ontario
Year: 2020 – 2021
Services: Public Art Management
professional proposals received
shortlisted artist collectives
lead artist collective selected
live community painting events
About the Leslie Nymark Public art Project
Strong and vibrant communities are built through collective pride, storytelling, and a shared goal of fostering a strong future. The Leslie Nymark Public Art Project offers a unique opportunity for residents of the revitalized Villaways community to work directly with a local artist and contribute to the content and design of a new public artwork in their community, drawing on the past and shaping a vision for the future. Embedded within the public art process are numerous skill-building workshops and employment opportunities for residents that will leave a lasting legacy on the community for years to come.
“An important element of city building and creating communities is providing room for artistic expression to reflect the character and heritage of the neighbourhood, and the residents that call it home. We are thrilled Jessey Pacho is creating a dynamic and meaningful art piece that will be a timeless keepsake for the people who live in Leslie Nymark.”
– Dino Carmel, President, Tridel Group
An artist call was released in March 2020 inviting Ontario artists and artist collectives to submit qualifications for a juried review process. STEPS, Tridel and Toronto Community Housing were pleased to announce that Toronto-based graffiti artist Jessey Pacho and his team of artist collaborators, Moises Frank and Alex Popelavskis, have been awarded the commission.
“Toronto Community Housing is thrilled to partner with STEPS to celebrate important stories of the Villaways tenants and provide inspiration for both returning tenants and new community members.”
– Vincent Tong, Toronto Community Housing Chief Development Officer
Located in the former Villaways area of Toronto, Leslie Nymark is in its last stages of revitalization, with this public art project offering returning residents new ways of engaging with ideas of community.
“The project is the perfect way to welcome back long-time Villaways residents, introduce new residents, and create a neighbourhood together.”
– Shelley Caroll, Don Valley North Councillor
With 20 years’ experience in public art, Jessey has dedicated his life to building community, arts education, and mural making. Beginning June 2021, community members have the opportunity to work alongside Jessey and his collaborators Moises Frank and Alex Popelavskis, sharing their stories that reflect the past, present, and future of the neighbourhood.
“I grew up in TCHC housing and what excites me about this project is the chance to create something truly meaningful with a deserving community, in an artform [graffiti] typically overlooked and stigmatized.”
– Jessey Pacho
Through a series of community activities, the Full Spectrum team have been engaging Leslie Nymark residents as part of the upcoming mural production.
In Summer 2021, two live outdoor painting events were held at 30 Okra Tomar Crescent with Full Spectrum team members, and an artist-led community photo walk was offered during the annual Back-to-School BBQ with TCHC. From live painting to guided spray paint and photography sessions with residents, the team conversed with the community to share the current design progress of the Leslie Nymark public art project and to gather meaningful feedback to inform the final mural imagery.