The design seeks to capture elements including David Crombie Park, which spans several blocks along the Esplanade in the heart of the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, proximity to Lake Ontario and industrial infrastructure such as train tracks, Lakeshore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway, and a recognition that we are on Turtle Island.
More than 50 children and elders between the ages of 3 and 80 joined together over several months to create this community-based public artwork. The St. Lawrence Co-ops Community Mosaic–a project of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto– was led by artists Anna Camilleri and Tristan R. Whiston of Red Dress Productions, youth apprentices Kelsey Desmond and Angelica Batalla, and community outreach worker Randy Padmore.
RDP is very proud to have worked with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT) on this community-engaged public art work.
We talked, brainstormed, and told stories about diversity, environmentalism, urban development, the changing St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, co-operative housing, community development, and how this might be reflected visually. We produced individual and group sketches. Anna Camilleri produced the design based upon a shared vision.
Postcard design by Tariq Sami.
Contributors include Philip Conlon, Tina Conlon, Rosemary Copeland, Gianna Cordari, Edith Ginsburg, Maria Moreno, Delana Munroe, Lynda Stokes, Cassandra Padmore, Hussein Ahmed, Ahmed Ahmed, Kevoni Clarke, Timioni Langoya, Tajahn Gumbs, Daniel Hatton, Cyril Hoferica, Maleeka Black, Tahnee P. Duncan, Lemme Shafi, Tavaree Daniel-Simms, Sabry Shafi, Amal Absiy, Ayub Ismail, Wedad Shafi, Zyiad Mohammad, Shelby Desmond, Yusuf Abdullah, Hassen Ahmed, Tan Truong, Tandra Truong Verge, Gabriela Beltran, Kim, Ryan, Dylan, Greg Villamar, Steven Awahware, Maysam Abukhreibeh, Karen Lam, Hamsa Ismail, Jerrom Ogenrowt, Rebecca Tekle,
The St. Lawrence Co-ops Community Mosaic, a project of the Co-op Housing Federation of Toronto in partnership with Red Dress Productions, thanks the citizens of Toronto and Ontario for their support through the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council, St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, and the OWN Housing Co-operative.
Special thanks to Tom Clement, Maria LaVida, Esther Forde, Frank Roias, Dave Hains, Rob Haas, and the OWN Housing Co-operative Board of Directors.
At times, the workshop buzzed with the energy of as many as twenty participants. While we worked, we talked about subjects ranging from soccer tryouts, Amharic, Palestinian Arabic, and racism, to Rihanna and Chris Brown. At other times, we turned up the radio and practiced dance moves in between tile nipping.
The compass/Turtle Island motif is an element that is carried through all four 32″ x 60″ panels that constitute this public artwork.
Some participants–many of whom are students at Market Lane Public School–worked on the mosaic every single time the workshop was open during after school hours.
This is the first of four panels that we worked on, affectionately called the “learning board.”