New mural completed #RacismIsAPandemicToo

Near the end of summer I found out that I was the second recipient of the #RacismIsAPandemicToo art grant. Thanks to the Hintonburg Community Association’ s Anti-Racism Bell box project, I was able to turn my mural idea to a reality! So early this Fall, I was working on this paint project! Location: Gladstone and Fairmont (across from @themerrydairy)

First I washed the bell box and did some plant trimming. I got my tarp down and started laying out my design:

It was fun to do a design that “wraps” around a three dimensional wall so to speak. Thankful for portable foot ladders/stools so I could go all around the top – haha.

The layering begins…
Many layers later…it is finished! Next and final step is to wait for 3 good weather days for clear coating 🙂

I’ve shared some of my thoughts and inspiration for my art below:

“Racism is a pandemic too,” a statement that is unfortunately all too true. My earliest memories of stepping outside of my home include the feeling of having to diminish my “ethnicity” to fit in, to not cause trouble, to not make others uncomfortable with something unfamiliar, or to protect myself from hurtful responses. I felt I had to do this to belong and succeed. At the same time, I was expected to know my “ethnicity,” to market it so others feel more educated by my culture, often only the stereotypes. It is still like this.

As I navigate this, I can see some good intentions mixed with the bad. It is certainly not black and white. But I want change. This is how my design came to be.

An individual surrounded by different flowers and leaves. Many are in full colour, but some are colourless, in black and white paint.

It is open for interpretation. Perhaps the colourless, black and white parts are encroaching, trying to take over. Perhaps the floral surroundings represent us. And are a sign for positivity and hope. That people and society will continue to learn, act, and heal. That this positive movement will encroach, spread, and take over until it truly includes all colours.
While painting this mural, I thought of my past experiences. I have unfortunately received racist responses (thankfully only words), while painting publicly before. I am happy to say that this time around the experience was markedly different and positive. I had families with their children come visit and complement the work, sometimes visiting at different times to check up on my progress. Drivers rolled down their windows to say “beautiful” or “thank you” as they drove by. And several pedestrians stopped to share their appreciation for the art. You have no idea how much this meant to me. Thank you ❤️
To looking forward with positivity and hope. To fighting this pandemic and ending racism.
Thank you @hintonburgca for this opportunity.