Two community special features

Well, these are the last two murals in our series of features from the past six weeks. I’ve enjoyed hearing from each of the mural artists, learning about what inspired them to create their work, the new artistic skills learned and the joy of seeing their contributions on display in the neighbourhood.

These two murals give a nod to other community projects and events that the neighbourhood has enjoyed in the past several years. Maybe you’ve seen them…

The music never dies

Artists & Collaborators: Joan Lazarski, Ted Parkinson, Emily Slofstra

Sadly, the 3rd annual Duke Street West Music Fest was cancelled due to COVID-19 and pandemic restrictions on gatherings – and singing! Ted Parkinson and Joan Lazarski immortalized this sweet neighbourhood festival with its very own mural…. or, is that an album cover?!

I can also imagine that on that June day when we should have been gathering in the Duke Street Playground for an afternoon of music, Ted would have been playing his guitar on his back deck, right beside the park – maybe you heard some jazz that afternoon floating on the air.

Ted said:

“I knew most of the panels would be celebrating ‘community’ in different ways, so I thought it was important to create a visual placeholder of a specific event we organized. The musicians were from our neighbourhood, we got funding from MHBPNA and the volunteers were from here as well. It is basically saying “WE WERE HERE”! And yes, we intended to do a 2020 event but that did not happen. But we have hopes for 2021!”

Ted says he based the mural on Emily Slofstra’s original minimalist poster design and Joan jumped in with the lettering and fine details. Emily says she had nothing to do with the painting of the mural but she’s been an important part of the first two instalments of the festival so Joan & Ted signed her name anyway!

A good first collaboration

Artist: Catherine Owens

As I wrote about in the first feature post on this project, this art project was made possible by Shannondale Development. This is the company that will redevelop this property over the next 3-5 years.

Maybe you recognize the cute stencil flowers and bees in this mural?

You will find the are the same fun stencils gracing the alley fences and pavement between Waterloo & Duke Street. They were painted as part of an alley art project in 2019.

Catherine contributed this mural when a last minute vacancy needed to be filled – well done!

Did you visit the gallery this summer?

Every weekend this summer, I walked by the murals to see the new work posted. I was never alone!

Every time I visited, I would cross paths with neighbours or visitors checking out the artwork. Some found it by accident and others came specifically because they heard about the project or read about it online.

On a bright September Saturday morning, this dad and his two young sons visited each every panel pointing out the things they noticed, with squeals of enjoyment and

Thank you organizers & helpers!

Big thanks to the organizers and coordinators of this project – Cherie Simmons, Tanya Wright, Catherine Owens and Sarah Marsh!

Huge thanks to all the artists for sharing your work, talent and time.

High-five & gratitude to Josh who mows the lawn, keeping the outdoor art gallery looking neat and welcoming ❤️ 💜 ❤️


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