Collaboration between myself, artists Becky Katz and Matt McInnes lead to this large outdoor mural being completed for the Beasley Neighbourhood Association. The mural was funded by Benjamin Moore and the Hamilton Community Foundation. At roughly 15′ x 45′, the mural is now a significant feature in Beasley Park. Beasley is a cross-roads for many people who come downtown for work, entertainment, to seek a new beginning in Canada, or to attend programs run by social services in the downtown core.
The mural was assembled from the artwork of youth and children who live in Beasley, collected over several months during workshops at neighbourhood events and with students at the English as a Second Language program at Dr. Davey School.
These workshops were a lot of fun. At first the younger kids made large drawings and sketches, and we posted these up onto a mural mock-up. The older youth produced very beautiful and sophisticated drawings. I photographed all the drawings and did a rough digital cut-and-paste of various elements, to end up with a collage that expressed some of the themes many of the drawings were about: waterfalls, rainbows, trees, Dr. Davey school, ice cream, everyday sights in Hamilton (cars, buildings), and also the landscapes of countries (Somalia, Kenya) that participants had recently experienced. And voila:
It took about one week and the labour of numerous neighbourhood volunteers of all ages to get the mural up on the wall. We used a skyjack to paint on the higher areas of the wall.
We ended up altering the mural slightly to compensate for where the trees obscure the wall. But actually I like the asymmetry and the rough edge against the brick. I hope the neighbourhood enjoys the colour, the positivity and the humour in it.