Art Comes Out of the Gallery and Onto the Streets

Published: June 17th 2010
in Culture » Art

Michael Brown and kids from Harbourfront Community Centre designed this sailboat for Art on the Move
Pic: courtesy of DW Communications
Leah Gold collaborated with seniors to create this van for Art on the Move
Pic: courtesy of DW Communications

Keep your eyes peeled, because art is coming out of the galleries and heading to the streets – and waters – of Toronto.


Art on the Move, a joint project of Arts Etobicoke and Lakeshore Arts, recently unwrapped its second edition with four vans and one sailboat now transformed into things of beauty – a culmination of three years of work involving kids, adults, and seniors from all over Toronto.


On Wed. June 16, artists, city councilors, media, and guests gathered for the official unveiling. In the parking lot of the National Yacht Club (where we could see the 32-foot sailboat – vibrantly painted with fish, mermaids, and an octopus – sailing back and forth in the background), a burst of rain made us move indoors temporarily, but didn’t stop us from celebrating the launch.


Donna Cansfield (Etobicoke Centre, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing), Suzan Hall (Councillor for Ward 1, Etobicoke North), and youth and staff from the Harbourfront Community Centre, Native Canadian Centre, Youth Without Shelter, and more were on hand to present the final products.


As we reported previously, Jewish artist Leah Gold worked with seniors from the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre to transform a truck supplied by MetroMan. Her creation featured whimsical drawings, sketches, scenes, and text winding around the eggshell-blue exterior.


Former graffiti artist Mediah worked with over 20 youth from Youth Without Shelter’s Steps program to create a funky urban scene with sleek figures standing out against a skyline and bold geometric shapes tinged with red, orange, pink, and bright blue.


International exhibitor Susan Rowe Harrison worked with students from the Karen Kain School of the Arts to turn an AutoShare van into a fusion of natural and urban imagery, and Cree artist Rebecca Baird collaborated with youth from the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto to revitalize a minivan with a watercolour-like scene.


Youth from Harbourfront Community Centre, under the guidance of lead artist Michael Brown, were responsible for that eye-catching sailboat.


Art on the Move integrates public art and urban design by engaging artists and community members, and joining forces between experienced craftspeople and community groups – especially those from under-represented communities. Art on the Move hopes to feature five more vehicles in year three, and encourages Torontonians to consider donating their vehicle for the cause (anyone have a plane?).


Until then, watch out: contemporary art may be coming to a street corner near you.

Related articles: (art, art on the move, leah gold, arts etobicoke, lakeshore arts)

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