Street art is having a moment. Is it a pivotal one?

During the height of the Spanish flu pandemic, afflicted Norwegian artist Edvard Munch painted a pair of self-portraits. In the first, he sits alone in a chair beside his rumpled bed, bundled in a robe, blankets covering his legs. His face is drained of color and his mouth hangs open, as if gasping for breath. In the second, painted after his recovery, he lists, seemingly exhausted, toward the viewer.

Create HOPE – Collective Mural Initiative

In the context of the current state of isolation, recommended by public health officials across the globe due to COVID19, a new initiative has been launched through an alliance between local Canadian arts and health advocates, to create an arts-based health promotion initiative in response to the high demand for mental health support for families to cope during this difficult period that we face.

Créer l’espoir – une murale virtuelle pancanadienne se dessine à l’horizon

Malgré les distances qui séparent les Canadiens en ces temps de confinement, des initiatives pour les réunir virtuellement surgissent partout au pays. L’une d’entre elles est le projet de murale virtuelle numérique Create Hope | Créer l’espoir.

L’initiative consiste à compiler des interprétations visuelles du concept d’espoir. Elle s’adresse en premier lieu aux enfants qui, comme le reste du monde, sont en quarantaine pour une période indéterminée.

Le projet repose sur deux initiatives lancées par Rodrigo et Paola Ardiles Gamboa, frère et sœur, soit le Dundas West Public Museum de Toronto (géré principalement par l’ONG Creativo Arts) et la coopérative de promotion de la santé Bridge for Health basée à Vancouver. Le mot-clé avec lequel ils veulent faire résonner le projet au pays est #createhopemural.

1220 Dundas St. W

This mural represents the large community of Portuguese people and businesses that reside within the Little Portugal Area. It also represents a merging of the youth within the community, as graffiti art is considered a relatively new art form created by predominantly youth.

Dundas West creates Toronto’s first open-air museum

At Toronto’s newest museum on Dundas West, there’s no umbrella storage or coat checks, no half-priced admission or well-dressed security kindly requesting you don’t touch the art. Instead, the works are all there in the street, a patchwork of murals telling the story of what and who the neighbourhood is and will be. The dundaswest.museum is an open-air street art museum. And it’s Toronto’s first.

1375 Dundas St. W

Originally from Ecuador, Jose Ortega established himself as an illustrator in New York City, and now lives between Toronto, New York and Barcelona. The subject of numerous articles in international art and design journals, Jose’s previous art commissions include works for two NYC subway stations, the US and Ecuadorian postal services, Absolut, MTV, Apple Computers, Bloomingdale’s, Sony Music, Amnesty International and the New York Times. These projects have earned awards from the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Print, Communication Arts and Graphis. In 2002 Jose co-founded Lula Lounge a live music venue in Toronto, showcasing a diverse line-up of upcoming and established artists that has become ground-zero of Toronto’s exploding world music scene.

Museum App Now Available

Commissioned art work for Lula Lounge and Dundas West BIA.
The spray can application can be appreciated in its’ details, that expose the experience of the artists and the passion of this collaboration between Shalak & Smoky.