UrbanArts, whom I worship, are hiring seven young people for summer positions. They’re looking for three summer arts councillors and four mural artists. The work sounds great, too. Work starts in July and ends in August.
If you drive along Lawrence at Weston Road, you might notice some murals being added to the large one completed last year outside the York West Seniors Centre. This latest set of three are based on historical photos of Weston over the years. They will be taking shape quickly over the next day or two so if you’re passing by on foot, be sure to talk to the talented group of university students working under the capable guidance of Urban Arts Youth Mentor Jim Bravo. Urban Arts completes murals every year as a way of providing summer employment and to discourage the tagging of blank wall space.
The process of transferring an old photograph to a wall involves some digital simplification in Photoshop and the basic outline is transferred at night using a projector. From that point the skills of the team are put to good use in bringing the images to life and interpreting which colours to use.
As a postscript, If you’re not already on Facebook, there’s a very good reason to join. Weston Historical Society has a page and is constantly publishing large numbers of photographs showing Weston and its people over the past century and a half.
UrbanArts is having a busy week. On Thursday, from 2–5 pm, they will be unveiling their newest mural; it’s at the corner of Weston and Lawrence. On Friday, they will be starting CultureShock, a two-day festival of art, dance and music.
The mural is part of an annual project that puts young people from the community to work to abate graffiti in Weston and Mt Dennis. They paint an average of two murals a year, and have done so since 1999. This year, they celebrate Weston as the “Home of the Bicycle”. A second piece will soon be installed in Mount Dennis.
On Friday and Saturday, UrbanArts will host the annual CultureShock Festival at Weston Collegiate.
Wes “Maestro” Williams (formerly Maestro Fresh Wes) will be headlining. Cabbie Richards, from TSN, and Canadian hip-hop pioneer Michie Mee will be MCing.
The festival starts Friday at 6, and resumes on Saturday at 1 pm.