NOW TORONTO interviews the artists, curators and community organizers involved in creating three new large scale public artworks in Toronto’s Kensington Market. The project was initiated by the city of Toronto as part of the StART program.
StreetARToronto or StART is a new, pro-active program that aims to develop, support, promote and increase awareness of street art and its indispensable role in adding beauty and character to neighbourhoods across Toronto, while counteracting graffiti vandalism and its harmful effect on communities.
Street art is art, specifically visual art, developed for public spaces. It can be on a wall, pathway, road, trash-bin, streetlamp, etc. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork, murals, sculptures, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheatpasting and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, flash mobbing and street installations.
For the purposes of the StART program, "Street Art" can include traditional graffiti artwork, murals and stencil graffiti. Graffiti art is a legal and acceptable form of street art and is differentiated from "tagging" which is generally characterized by writing and an act of vandalism. The City of Toronto defines Graffiti Art as "markings made or affixed to properties that are approved by the property owner or occupant, where the markings aesthetically enhance the surface they cover and the general surroundings, having regard to the community character and standards. StART (formally known as the Graffiti Transformation Program) originated out of the Graffiti Management Plan and is currently administered by the Public Realm Section of the Transportation Services Division at the City of Toronto.
It was really exciting to be commissioned by the city to do a large scale mural. In 2012-113 I was involved in three different public art projects connected to the city of Toronto. In addition to the Kensington mural shown in the video I also created a Kids Mural in the St Lawrence area Berczy Park and was honored to be one of the first artist to be hired to decorate construction walls as a part of yet another new city-wide initiative to promote public artworks.