TORONTO, April 30, 2014 – Local youth from Thorncliffe and Flemingdon, members of the Toronto Emerging ARTivists, the same group who installed the World’s Tallest Mural in St. James Town in summer 2013 and recently received the Toronto Youth Cabinet’s Community Arts Award, will be launching an eco arts initiative, beginning with the unveiling of a community mural and a pop bottle planter installation on May 3rd, 3 PM at East York Town Centre, during National Youth Arts Week.
Youth have transformed discarded trash collected in Flemingdon and Thorncliffe into material for a large environmental arts installation, where plastic bottles serve as “pots” for plants. Chained together and hoisted on a large wall, this installation will challenge community members to re-imagine the environmental and aesthetic impact of littering.
The community mural has been painted by members of the Toronto Emerging Artivists, under the mentorship of celebrated Toronto-based artist, Nick Sweetman. Adorned to a storefront currently under construction in the East York Town Centre, this large mural reflects the diversity, culture and beauty of one of Toronto’s most multicultural communities.
On May 3rd, passer-bys can see the accumulating hard work from local youth and residents who are passionate about art, community and environment. Attendees will be invited to make their own Eco Art, like pop-bottle planters, upcycled buttons, and screenprinted clothing (folks are invited to bring last season’s T-shirts!), as well as join us for a ribbon cutting, spoken word performance and celebrations!
These projects are the culmination of a partnership between the Toronto Emerging ARTivists (a youth-led collective of the STEPS Initiative) and the East York Town Centre, in collaboration with many local residents and community groups.
Additional eco art installations, including sculptures, murals and green walls will be unveiled throughout the year as part of this larger initiative.
WHEN: May 3rd, 3 – 5 PM
WHERE: In front of the Scotiabank, near the north-east entrance (East York Town Centre – 45 Overlea Blvd, Toronto)
VISUALS: Mural and eco art installation ribbon cutting with youth, action photos/videos of community members screen printing, making buttons, as well as youth spoken word performance.
Interviews with youth, organizers and community members will also be available.
The Toronto Emerging ARTivists and The STEPS Initiative
Toronto Emerging ARTivists (TEA), a collective of young people (ages 14 – 22) from across some of Toronto’s most underserved communities, is committed to improving their neighbourhoods through public art. Their mission is to bring communities together and speak out against issues facing our communities, including improving public spaces. With the support of their partners and mentors, they have led and supported several youth-led projects across Toronto, and have been recognized for their achievements, having received the 2013 Identify and Impact Community Arts Award on behalf of the Toronto Youth Cabinet. TEA is an incubated youth collective of the STEPS Initiative, an organization promoting the use of art to connect people with public spaces that was responsible for installing the World’s Tallest Mural in the summer of 2013, stemming from their Emerging ARTivist Program – a capacity building program that uses art to explore urban design issues.
TEA has been generously supported by the Laidlaw Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Toronto, StreetARToronto, ArtReach Toronto, ArtStarts, the Toronto Arts Council (through Platform A), the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, Diasporic Genius, the East York Town Centre and the Centre for Social Innovation.
- Anjuli, Program Manager, the STEPS Initiative 647-773-2547 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alexis Kane-Speer, Director, the STEPS Initiative 647-999-0213 or email@example.com (media inquiries)