EXCITING YEAR OF PUBLIC ART IN TORONTO

Oct 21, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Listen to Christine’s report here.

The year of public art in Toronto began last month and you may have noticed the growing number of colourful works throughout the city.

One of the big attractions will be a giant Terry Fox Tribute mural and you get to vote for your favourite design.

“Use the power of art to inspire people but make it public art so that it’s accessible to people,” said Mayor John Tory when announcing a new giant mural to honour Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope. The winning design will be chosen among the five mural and graffiti artists in the running including Alexander Bacon.

“I have Terry in a heroic pose waving to the crowd at the very top and I have his prosthetic leg being the dominant leg showing,” Bacon told a news conference.

Barbara Fischer is a member of the Terry Fox mural advisory committee and says you have until the end of this month to offer feedback on the designs.

“It’s important that when there’s public space, there’s consultation,” said Fischer. “You can comment on how you feel about the proposals and if there are any things that you might suggest to the artist to improve upon their design, things like is there too much information in this particular design, is it visible from the street.”

The eight-storey landmark mural will be painted next summer along University Avenue, a location Terry’s brother Darrell Fox recalls with fondness.

“I believe the photos of Terry taken running down University Avenue are the most powerful and iconic images of all the photos captured of the Marathon of Hope,” remarked Darrell.

“ArtworxTO is a very broad program of a lot of different types of public art,” says Catherine Dean, Toronto Public Art Officer. “We often ask the community of where the work is going to be, what type of things they’d like an artist to know about their neighbourhood.”

Dean says interest in public art is high, especially the trend toward more temporary installations and says when it’s in public spaces it belongs to everyone.

To offer feedback on the Terry Fox mural, visit the the city’s website.

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