14th National Mural Symposium and the New Mural Unveiling

Mural Routes 14th National Mural Symposium was successfully held on the weekend, October 28th – 30th, 2011. This year’s symposium “The Big Picture” looks up at the Monumental Murals of keynote speaker Charlie Johnston, one of Canada’s acclaimed muralists whose work is monumental in scale and his legacy of murals graces the walls of many towns and cities in Canada and the USA, then out to Singapore’s social initiative mural projects with guest speaker, Faris Basharahil from Social Creatives, and finally back to the Toronto-based social enterprise model with the graffiti artist Javid from Under the Radar. We have dozens of delegates joined us and created wonderful and inspiring memories together.

The keynote speaker, Charlie Johnston

Featured speakers, Javid (upper left) and Faris Basharahil (lower right)

Works of the Delegates’

What’s more, the mural, entitled Intersections, which consists of dozens of mural panels that we have mentioned in our last update were finally installed and unveiled in the neighbourhood of Dorset Park. The mural was officially launched with a dedication in the afternoon on Oct. 29th, the second day of the symposium. Many passersby and our delegates of the symposium joined the celebration of the mural unveiling with Councillor Michael Thompson and the artists.

This mural artwork was created by student artists as part of a youth summer training initiative run by Mural Routes. The project was requested by Councillor Thompson, as part of efforts to discourage graffiti vandalism and improve the visual appearance of the commercial area in Dorset Park/Wexford Heights. The Wexford Heights BIA welcomed the idea, resulting in a mural project designed for the west-facing plaza wall at 2157 Lawrence Avenue East at Birchmount.

The artwork represents the intersection between fantasy and reality, depicting harmony between the faces of young people and their community at the junction of two roads. It was designed and painted by a team of nine young artists led by Emilie Wong and Tara Dorey, under the direction of artist/mentor Rob Matejka. The team worked over the course of the summer, with other youth volunteering their time to complete the mural panels in time. Thanks to the creativity of aspiring young artists, the neighbourhood of Dorset Park now has a new mural.

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