Girls Mural Camp 2020 was a big success! Read on to learn more about this exciting community arts program.
About Girls Mural Camp
Presented by East End Arts, Girls Mural Camp is a three-week summer program for youth between the ages of 14-19 who self-identify as young women, girls, female, or non-binary. Through a combination of in-class learning and at home practice, participants explore the history of street art, graffiti and murals, and develop their own individual artistic style. The camp culminates with the co-creation of a street mural.
Girls Mural Camp 2020 took place in August 2020. Led by muralists Monica Wickeler and Bareket Kezwer, 10 campers came together to create a unique new mural in the Riverside BIA District.
About The GMC 2020 Mural in Riverside – Participant Artists’ Statement
This mural is a mix of ideas that have come together from the inspiration of the artists involved. We wanted to create a piece that explores our growth and journey during the COVID-19 pandemic, focussing on the question, “When everything stops, what keeps going?”
While much of the pandemic has kept us indoors and physically distant from one another, it also gave us an opportunity to refresh and refocus how we view and interact with the world around us. Many people began enjoying nature and city parks, like the Don Valley Trail and Riverdale East Park. Others started to enjoy the beautiful Toronto sunsets that we previously took for granted; we finally had the time to look out our windows and appreciate the view. Life during the pandemic also encouraged us to stay connected in new ways. We relied on the internet more than ever to see the faces of friends and family we weren’t able to see in person.
From the views out our windows, to the faces on our screens, this mural highlights the different ways we connected to nature, technology and the world during times of social isolation and physical distancing. To show how we are all connected, a red thread of fate ties the mural together. We hope that this colourful mural will uplift and brighten the days of passersby and the Riverside neighbourhood, post-COVID-19 and beyond.
If you’d like to view this mural in person, head to Queen Street East at Munro, behind Oma Chiropractic & Wellness!
Girls Mural Camp 2020 Video
A special thank you to Cassandra Rudolph for capturing Girls Mural Camp 2020 in this fantastic video!
GMC Lead Artists
Also known as monica on the moon in the public art industry. When Monica isn’t found on tip-toes at the top of scaffolding or balancing a ladder just so to reach the top corner of a mural, she can be found sharing her joy of mural/street art with public school students and sharing how it can transform a community or forgotten space in the most beautiful way.
Monica is a trained visual artist who has worked in the large scale painting industry in Toronto for many years. In outdoor advertising as a mural artist and in the film and television industry as a scenic painter. More recently she can be found reclaiming community spaces with her vibrant public art. Painting community murals in playgrounds, on wading pools, in pedestrian laneways, on construction hoarding and on just about anything that stays still long enough.
Bareket Kezwer is a Toronto-based muralist, community engaged artist, curator, graphic designer and eternal optimist. Her work is motivated by a desire to spread joy, cultivate gratitude, and support the growth of inclusive and connected communities. She programs and facilitates projects that empower and connect people through creative engagement and increase representation of Toronto’s diverse population.
In 2017, she founded Womxn Paint, a street art jam celebrating the strength, resilience and diverse stories of womxn. As the initiative’s creative director, she has produced 75 murals by emerging and early career artists and facilitated an intergenerational community mural with residents in Rexdale. In her murals, she works with bright colours and bold patterns to captivate people’s attention and fill them with delight. She is passionate about creating art that both aesthetically and psychologically brightens environments.
GMC 2020 Participant Artists