Call has gone out for possible mural locations around the city. What could large scale murals do for Burlington?

News 100 redBy Staff

January 21, 2015


The city wants to make the streets look nicer. A number of years ago they installed really nice looking bike racks – they were attractive – so much so that many people didn`t use them – they didn`t know they were bike racks.

Bike rack

Lovely public art – it’s a bike rack. Hard to tell what its purpose is – needs a small sign – Park your bike here.

Margaret Lindsay Holton, a local artist,  tells of a person she saw chaining their bike to a pole that was beside one of the bike racks – the rack was so attractive people didn`t realize what they were for. “That was one of those occasions I wished I had had my camera with me” said Holton.

At some point the city might add small signs to the racks – saying what they are – they are very nice.

Through its public art program, the City of Burlington is inviting the public to provide suggested locations and themes for a series of local murals and is offering three ways to comment between now and Feb. 6.

“This is a great initiative that will Increase local artist participation in the City of Burlington’s public art program,” said Angela Paparizo, manager of arts and culture. “We’re excited to engage residents in the creative process through mural site selection and community storytelling and hope they will take advantage of the opportunity to shape art in their community.”

Murals are a new thing for Burlington.  There was a poster put up on a building – the garage at the foot of Locust Street – that has great potential as a mural site.

Murals - Toronto soldiers

Scarborough, Ontario went for murals in a big way. Might Burlington see work of this quality?

Scarborough took to mural art in a big way and has done a great job.  It will be interesting to see what the Burlington art community does.

There is a fine mural on the Flat Iron building on Front Street in Toronto that has stood the test of time.  Unfortunately the city mural program does not apply to private buildings.

The Burlington Mural Project is designed to tell local stories using local artists.

Murals - scarborough

Could this have been Burlington when it had radial lines in the city?

The program has a budget of $5,000 to $10,000 for each mural and will commission small to medium-scale murals throughout the city, with one mural location and story selected for each of Burlington’s six wards.

Mural - Flat Iron Bldg Toronto

This mural on the Flat Iron building on Front Street in Toronto is on a private building. Burlington has decided its mural program will be on just city buildings – pity.

These submissions will be reviewed by the city’s Public Art Implementation Team (PADIT) and a jury of citizens. Locations and artists will be chosen based on public input. The murals will be open exclusively to local Burlington artists. Free learning opportunities will be offered to artists who may not have experience creating public art and/or murals.

This program was developed in consultation with members of the local arts community. In October 2014, a brainstorming session was held with members of the local arts community. Based on this session and feedback, a Program Guide has been developed. Click here to access a copy.

Artist applications for the selected mural projects will be released in late February 2015.

The city will have a Public Art Booth at the Lowville Winter Games on Sunday, January 25 – share your ideas.

There is no limit on the number of submissions per resident.

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4 comments to Call has gone out for possible mural locations around the city. What could large scale murals do for Burlington?

  • Just take a look at this link – for what was done …. I’m saying – 30 years ago on Vancouver Island.

    They are truly splendid, and have been cherished, loved and maintained!


  • James

    Pleasant enough idea if we had a surplus of funds and were looking to find ways to spend it, but with all this talk about tax increases, and balancing the budget, is spending upwards of $60,000 on a few paintings that most of the City’s population won’t even see really the best use of our tax dollars? Then there’s the added expense that hasn’t been taken into account to remove the graffiti on a weekly basis that you just know will appear, not to mention the City Hall staff time to administer all of this. Like I said, pleasant enough idea, but I think there’s a long list of higher priorities that our tax dollars could be spent on. I’m still driving over potholes every day. How many potholes could $60,000+ repair?

  • tenni

    As far as bike racks are concerned, the education of cyclists needs improving. Perhaps some promotion posters as to the image of various bike racks placed where cyclist go (Mountain Co op for one). I’m not sure about putting a sign on the bike rack is a good idea. It will need the artist’s permission to do so in order to comply with Best Practices. It might have been better to insure any text into the original design. Function and form need to work together though. If you can not figure out how to use it (function) some might complain about having an attractive creative bike rack(form).

  • tenni

    This is a great idea! I understand that this is just a beginning. Murals with an amount of $5,000 to $10,000 is really insufficient when it includes cost of materials, labour and conservation sealing. I look forward to seeing the community visually improve.

    As far as citizens not recognizing the bike rack…well more education of cyclists may be needed rather than a sign. Function and form count and yes function of a bike rack may have been over ridden by form with the image shown. Still, I want an attractive city to live in. The gazette may be correct that some small sign may have helped.

    Editor’s note:
    The late Tommy Thomson, Commissioner of Parks in Toronto used to put out signs on park property saying: Please walk on the grass.

    Bike Rack – please use.
    would do the trick