In 2019 we were the lead partner on a massive mural project, Augmented Representations: The North Etobicoke Mural Project, in partnership with Mural Routes, The STEPS Initiative and Womxn Paint. This project was part of StreetARToronto’s Partnership Program and a Signature project of Cultural Hotspot, produced in partnership with the City of Toronto. The project featured 33 murals by local artists featuring lead artists Bareket Kezwer, Moises Frank, Rob Matejka, and Mique Michelle. In spring 2021, the mural walls were removed as part of the Finch LRT expansion. We look forward to creating more public art in North Etobicoke and continue to look for opportunities to develop projects like this one.
The final project was the outcome of extensive community consultations and collaborations. Each mural is inspired by the theme “Natural Resiliency” and is distinct yet connected and blends the voices of community members. Spanning 576 feet along Finch Avenue West between Kipling and Islington, the series of murals weaves together images inspired by Indigenous narratives, personal experiences of local residents and the landscape of the Humber River into a collection of meaningful and vibrant public artworks.
One of the community murals also incorporated a digital augmentation component and provided a digital layer of storytelling that users can interact with on their Android or iOS devices. Developed by Seneca 360, the augmented reality component allows viewers to engage with the work to discover information about the project and the artists involved. The unveiling of Augmented Representation took place on July 28, with a large number of people from the community gathering and celebrating the culmination of this project. To create this incredible piece of public art, Arts Etobicoke managed 3 community murals, 15 community partners, 16 community consultations, 16 mural workshops, over 25 volunteers, 80+ painters, and managed the budget and needs of multiple funders.