Site 3 Mural: Part 1

I am currently working on my first mural project, which as of this writing, is about 2/3rds done.

I am not playing the role of artist, however, that is Daeve Fellows‘ role. For this mural, I am one of the two project leads – so fundraising, event planning, materials management, scheduling, etc. Instead of painting, I get to do all the fun logistical drudgery work. Yay!

The City of Toronto has this anti-graffiti program going on, where if they find graffiti on your building, you are given given some sort of notice with date informing you of the date that the graffiti must be removed by. At this point, you have three options:
1. Paint over the graffiti in a neutral colour before the date listed on the ticket.
2. Paint a mural over the graffiti with a mural before the date listed on the ticket.
3. Do nothing, and sometime after the date has passed, workers from the city of Toronto will paint over the graffiti, then bill you for it.

Since Site 3 Colaboratory has done a lot of really awesome stuff over the past few years, and has started earning a higher profile in this city as a source for awesome stuff, the members of the shop decided that our building deserved better visibility in the community, so we opted for option 2 – let’s paint a mural!

As one of the few formally-trained artists at the shop – and the only one to major in painting, I kind of fell into the roll of co-lead for the project. (I only wanted to be a consultant!)

After it had been decided that we were going to paint a mural, and I was one of the people in charge of coming up with what to paint, then actually painting it, I pointed out a little problem: What, exactly, are we going to paint? I didn’t have any ideas for a mural, the way I paint isn’t really ideal for a mural. The stuff I paint may not be best for Site 3’s exterior walls. Site 3 is full of creative geniuses, and dealing with creative geniuses can be like herding cats. No matter what any one of us on the mural project team came up with, we knew someone else wouldn’t be happy with it, they’d have a better idea. So how can this potential issue be avoided?

It was while mulling over this problem that the idea of a contest or art battle was brought up. We could have Site 3 members invite all of their artist friends to the shop, have them draw up a proposal, then everyone could vote on what design they liked best! That would determine what gets painted on the Site 3 wall, and be a fun event to throw.

Promo video for the event:

Since I probably won’t get around to posting the rest anytime soon, I’ll spare the cliffhanger ending and just tell you that the event went better than expected and a really cool design was picked.

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Kyle Clements

Kyle Clements is a Toronto-based artist and nerd. During his thesis at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Kyle began working on his Urban Landscapes series, a body of work that aims to capture the energy and excitement of life in the fast-paced urban environment. After graduating from OCAD in 2006, Kyle spent a year living in Asia to gather source material and experience in a different kind or urban environment. His work is vibrant and colourful. Whether painting the harsh Northern landscape, or capturing the overwhelming buzz of life in the city, his acrylic paintings hover between representation and abstraction.

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