WANTED BLANK WALLS is an opportunity to offer your doorway, a wall, a garage door, anywhere on your property that you would be interested in having our artists create a work of art for free. Giselle Silvestri, our lead is an international artist, “I continuously investigate the age-old struggle of good versus evil, rich versus poor, and east versus west.” She finds inspiration in “mass media icons- popular images both new and old to address serious topics, sometimes adding a touch of humour.”
Giselle’s pop images are timeless and her paintings are tongue in cheek versions of good versus evil. Giselle has contributed towards the building of the first library for girls in Afghanistan through ACA Gallery. In 1989 Giselle established M.T. Wall Inc, a mural and special effects painting company that completed hundreds of murals until 2007. Then Giselle focused on her personal art only, until I asked her to use her expertise to help with our community project.
With Giselle and our team, we created art in the community, which, as Giselle states has a “bit of meat on the bone’. As an art activist, I could not agree more.
Art that looks great, and on a second look- has meaning to make positive change in our world.
We look forward to new walls and exiciting images to animate our neighbourhood.
Wall painting goes back to prehistory— we see the use of handprints made with vegetable dye imprinted on cave walls, and animals drawn with burnt sticks. Fast forward to the 21st century and we see works by the anonymous celebrity, Banksy.
When I was in Paris on a French culinary course at Ducasse, I had the opportunity to explore the city on foot, including a 3 hour guided tour of feminist street art in the oldest part of Paris, along the streets of the village-like neighbourhood of the Butte-aux-Cailles. It was led by Julie, Cécile & Salomé, guides and art activists, through the winding passages and paved lanes of the Butte-aux-Cailles to learn about art and activism.
Butte-aux-Cailles is an historical Parisian neighbourhood that has conserved its unique village aspect, despite being in central Paris. Small shopkeepers and independent bars cohabit with a diversity of individuals who believe in art and living life to the fullest; “vivez la vie pleinment”.
I found out that this is also where the French Communist Party headquarters is located, as well as the site of a major battle in 1871. On the walls we see acknowledgment of the 19th century women heroines depicted and honoured along with modern day female themes. There remains a spirit of community and solidarity in the neighbourhood. It has a vivacious artistic and political scene that is taken onto the streets for each and everyone to admire, bringing locals into the cafes, and tourists to the street to admire the art.
As a believer that “art can change the world”, I was excited that beyond galleries where engagement is limited. Artists can and do impact directly on change on a street level. That’s why The Amazing Moss Park Art Collective announces: WANTED BLANK WALLS.
Art brings community together- a way to share our hopes for the present and future. As well as celebrating our past. It is a way the artists can give back to the communities by providing an expected smile, a moment of joy....
Wanting some painting done or wanting to volunteer-Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our lead in the BLANK WALLS mural project, Giselle Silvestri states; “ The At Home with Covid” mural is about Covid and how our homes took on a whole new meaning during 2020 and 2021. For some it became a prison for others a refuge. In some homes there was death and in other homes there was new life. For some, Covid destroyed their livelihood and they became homeless adding to the already homeless population. Tent cities sprung up all across our city, and for some these tents are the only homes they have. The mural reflects the hopefulness I have been feeling, slowly seeing life return to normal”. Giselle’s work will be added with by images from Carol Mark, Michael Jenkins, Colour Blots by Angela, Farzana Aziz, Michael Sillers, Maziar Mohajer, and Rachelle Soloway.
Ongoing & future projects to be directed to co-ordinator Carol email@example.com
Dan Philip’s mural, on the other hand, comes to grips with the history of the surrounding neighbourhood, The Moss Park area, how it got here, why it looks the way it does and who were the people who made it happen. Dan’s poster depicts T.J. Wilkie, builder of an historically designated block on Queen East, and the Allan family, G.W. and William Allan, who gifted what is now Moss Park to the City.
Carol Mark, the art collective’s founder says, “After all the grey and harrowing months we’ve had, art really can help us take back the warmth, colour and richness of our lives in our neighbourhood—and in neighbourhoods all over the city.”
Together, the two large murals will occupy a brick wall facing Britain Street, a storied name in the history of Toronto, the space generously donated by a neighbour, who is a property owner in the area.
Don’t miss the unveiling of these two striking art pieces so much a part of our recent and past history in Toronto!
"As a Chinese Canadian, I came face to face with anti Asian hate for the first time in my life. That’s why I added the hashtag #StopAsianHate to my art. The inequalities my grandfather faced during the time of The Exclusion Act 1923 where no Asians were allowed in Canada, separating families for decades were reminders of past injustices. The “nice polite facade” of Canadians seemed just that to me. And I believe now that we as Canadians need to try harder if we value a multicultural society that is inclusive."
Michael Jenkins: "Home was a very crowded place of confinement, jail-like but silent and empty.”
Michael Sillers: “Home isn't just where we lay our head. Home is everywhere.”