Six-storey mural officially unveiled today at Toronto’s Bendale Acres

Mayor John Tory was joined by residents of Bendale Acres long-term care home as well as City of Toronto staff, representatives from StreetARToronto and VIBE Arts, and collaborating artist Sean Martindale this morning to officially unveil a six-storey mural on the Bendale Acres building in Scarborough.

“It’s great to see initiatives like this one come to fruition, with a not-for-profit organization having brought local artists, youth and members of the senior population together to work collaboratively with City staff,” said Mayor John Tory. “The result is an impressive public mural for the community to enjoy.”

The City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto program funded VIBE Arts worked with Toronto Long-Term Care Homes and Services to create the large outdoor mural. The intergenerational art project was a collaboration between youth, Bendale Acres residents, the community and professional artist Sean Martindale.

Staff and youth volunteers from VIBE Arts assisted Bendale Acres residents in creating art projects to represent their life interests using different media and techniques, including painting, collage, clay sculpting, print-making and stencil-making. Each participating resident was given a theme for the session that took them through a therapeutic as well as creative journey as they completed their pieces of art.

The resident art pieces served as inspiration for the artist, Sean Martindale, in creating the mural that celebrates life and includes symbols of fleur-de-lis, maple leaves, rainbows, hearts, acorns, music notes, peace symbols, various flowers and plant life, and fish – all surrounding a huge tree that stretches up the entire side of the home.

Martindale is an internationally recognized and award-winning interdisciplinary artist and designer. His playful works question and offer alternatives for existing public spaces, infrastructure and materials found in the urban realm. His work activates public space to encourage engagement and prompt conversation and interaction.

Long-Term Care Homes and Services are leaders in excellence and ground-breaking services for healthy aging with a commitment to CARE – Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.

StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of innovative programs specifically designed for streets and public spaces. An initiative of the Public Realm Section of the City’s Transportation Services Division, StART can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/StART_Toronto and on Facebook at facebook.com/StreetARToronto.

VIBE Arts is an award-winning charitable organization committed to providing children and youth in under-resourced communities with high-quality community and school-based arts education.

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