November 10, 2015 (Toronto) – The new Neighbourhood of Nations mural in the St James Town neighbourhood of Toronto celebrates the people and cultures that have passed through St James Town and east downtown Toronto for centuries.
The 80’ by 5’ mural is a creative collaboration between three artists; Catherine Tammaro, Michael Cavanaugh and Poonam Sharma.
It was organized by St James Town Arts, a program of Community Matters Toronto.
Joining the three lead artists were three youth artists, Hawk Mason, Sarah Rogers and Gulnar Quaiser, who worked alongside them in an intergenerational, cross-cultural collaboration.
“The mural is to remind people of the history of this area of town, and to let the many newcomers in St James Town know they are just the latest in a long stream of immigrants and refugees who have arrived in the community seeking a new life for themselves and their families”, said artist and project director Michael Cavanaugh.
Catherine Tammaro is a Wyandot/Algonqiun fine artist, whose left panel reflects the Yanǫrǫhkwanyǫhk (Wyandot) or, ‘The Thanking’. “Greetings To The Natural World”, as it is titled, depicts the land before contact, the Ancestral world, where all lived in harmony with what surrounded them.”
Cavanuagh’s middle panel represents the European Settlers who have settled in and passed through east downtown Toronto, specifically the Irish immigrants and famine refugees, who arrived in the middle of the 19th century.
Artist Poonam Sharma painted the right panel of the mural. “My mural tells the story of a peacock that symbolizes the life of any immigrant who came from his native land to this whole new world. Peacocks normally only flutter few feet at a time, but this one flew thousands of miles”.
The mural is located at the south end of 650 Parliament St, just south of Bloor. The mural was funded by the Toronto Arts Council, The Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation, and The McLean Foundation.
About St James Town Arts
St James Town Arts, a program of Community Matters Toronto, is a neighbourhood-based community arts organization that seeks to strengthen and improve the St James Town community through shared creative activities.