The Tease. Transformed

9 September 2016 – And how does one transform an idea into reality? A concept into 800 square feet of community/volunteer-driven, LCBO parking lot mural?

I’m so glad you asked.

On 28 August, I showed you the concept as a tease:

LCBO Mural design

The project began with these two people, who have guided it to the reality that will be unveiled, with great hoop-la, during tomorrow’s Cabbagetown Festival celebrations.

Michael Cavanaugh & Poonam Sharma

Meet Michael Cavanaugh, the retired Lakehead University fine arts professor who is the core driving force behind the Bell Box Mural Program. And meet Poonam Sharma, a local artist who helps others discover their talents while developing her own.

This project came to them. The Cabbagetown BIA (Business Improvement Association) commissioned a mural to honour the 40th anniversary of the Cabbagetown Festival; the Parliament Street LCBO outlet offered a wall; Michael & Poonam posted 4 possible mural designs online for a community vote; and then drummed up volunteer help to turn the winner, with its Victorian heritage theme, into reality.

My AGO volunteer colleague, Chloe, and I turn up on one of the early days, to help with the base coat. Chloe takes the selfie. (Hmm, what’s the plural of ‘selfie’?)

Penny with Chloe (R)

We’re both resplendent in the safety vests worn by all helpers — the more visible we are to drivers in the narrow parking lot, the better. I am also, if I may say so, resplendent in my vintage Cabbagetown Festival T-shirt, the work of graphic artist & musician San Murata.

Michael & Poonam have already projected the design onto the wall; now we all take basic instruction and start laying on the paint. “Don’t worry about pretty edges!” cries Michael. “Just stay within the lines as best you can and, above all, cover the wall!” He’s right, there is a whole lot of white space up there, waiting to be transformed.

We slap on the paint.

base-coat volunteers, Chloe at front

When Chloe & I leave, that Friday evening, you can already see the mural taking shape.

Sept. 2 stage of mural

I come back on Sunday, just as they are setting up again, to admire progress & see what happens next. Progress, indeed.

Sunday 4 Sept, as they start

“The base coat is pretty well in place,” says Poonam. “Now for the detailing, and the shading.”

First step: tape off the wall-front work area. It cuts motorist access in half, but fortunately everyone is too pleased (or simply bemused) to argue.

Poonam tapes off the work area

They settle in for an afternoon of second-stage work. A dozen or so volunteers have helped power that base coat into place, but detailing & shading requires a steadier hand. Someone — to be blunt about it — with training & skill.

Michael, for one …

Michael Cavanaugh, detailling the mural

and Poonam, for another.

Poonam shading the borders

Friends, supporters and the just plain curious all stop for a look and a natter. Poonam is brilliant at welcoming and engaging everybody, while somehow getting her work done as well.

Poonam with admirers...

A long day, deliberately so.

They wait for nightfall so they can project the mural’s banner text onto the wall. It involves a laptop with the text image …

text for the mural

and a projector on top of the ladder, to throw that image upon the wall.

laptop (lower right) connected to projector, to throw the image on the wall

Poonam is up on the scaffolding, carefully tracing the projected lettering into place.

Poonam traces text onto the wall

 

A couple of days later, I go by again.

almost, almost final

There it is!

Tomorrow, the grand unveiling. I’ll be there, you betcha.

Mutant Fish, Identified

You remember “mutant fish,” in my post Down Down the Don? Sure you do.

detail, fish mural along the Lower Don Trail

I whined at the time that I couldn’t find any artist ID. Thanks to a posted comment by filc21, I can now tell you that the fish is the work of two artists, jarus and kwest.

How nice to know, and give credit where credit is due.

 

 

Leave a comment

6 Comments

  1. So great that you were able to participate in painting this mural. It turned out great!

    Reply
  2. That’s a very cool wall art display– awesome!

    Reply
  3. Mary C

     /  9 September 2016

    i often wondered how lettering was done so well! I wonder how often that technique is used?

    Reply
    • It was a discovery for me too, but I think must be standard technique. It’s also how they transferred the entire design on the wall: projected it one evening, traced the lines with magic markers, then next day started painting them in. A-ha! The things we learn.

      Reply
  4. Wonderful!

    Reply
  5. Love watching the creative process!

    Reply

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