Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fifth Grade

Here's a sneak preview of a project I've been working on for the past few of about a billion in progress right now!  I am one of a group of artists and art organizations working on a project called Artmap 09, which will be exhibited as a part of this year's Manifesto Festival next month. In a nutshell, each participating artist/organization is responsible for executing a piece of artwork on a surface in the shape of each ward of Toronto. I am in charge of doing a piece of work that represents Ward 38- Scarborough Centre, the ward I was born and grew up in.  After the festival, the piece will be presented to the councillor of Ward 38 as a gift.

For the piece, I decided to pay tribute to the kids of Ward 38. Specifically, I chose to draw each kid pictured in my fifth and sixth grade school photos from Churchill Heights Public School. The kids depicted in the piece illustrate the diversity my old neighbourhood in Scarborough is renowned for; the year I was in fifth grade marked the first year of a period of 9 years (1991-2000) in which the ward's immigrant population doubled.  

I'm really thrilled to be working on a project that immortalizes the kids I grew up with- kids from blue-collar families, the children of immigrants, kids who live in high-rise and basement apartments. Poor and lower-middle class kids making the most of a time marred by conflict and economic a world away from the kids depicted on television shows of the day such as Full House and Home Improvement.  

For more on the Artmap, click here.

(By the way, that's me on the bottom right in the picture above...!)

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