WOMEN PAINT RIVERSIDE TRANSFORMS EAST END LANEWAY
Women and gender marginalized artists come together to revitalize a Riverside laneway with 21 bright, new, interconnected murals that reflect our deep connection to water, and to our communities.
TORONTO, September 22, 2021 – East End Arts, in partnership with Street Art Toronto, Women Paint, the Riverside BIA, and Native Women in the Arts, is excited to announce the completion of the Women Paint Riverside public art project, “Currents of Change”.
Building upon Riverside’s existing public art legacy, Women Paint Riverside brought together 20+ diverse women and gender marginalized street artists, muralists and graffiti writers to create murals that celebrate the theme “Currents of Change”, looking at the area’s close relationship with water, in particular Riverside’s relationship to the Don River and Lake Ontario.
Curated collaboratively by artist and curator Ariel Smith and prolific muralist Bareket Kezwer, 23 artists and 10 youth participated in this massive laneway transformation, creating 21 murals spanning from East of Broadview to West of Hamilton Street. We’re overjoyed to bring colourful water-themed art to these laneway spaces to spark important conversations about timely issues that affect our overlapping communities.
A community celebration event will be held to toast the artists and community members who have helped bring this incredible project to life. Please join us on Saturday, September 25th, 2021 from 12-3pm. The location of this event will be at 1 Hamilton St., just North of Queen St. E at the laneway where there will be live music, tasty local treats, an opportunity to hear from our artists, and more.
For those who are unable to join us for the celebration, we invite you to explore these new murals on your own via a self-guided walking tour. Be sure to have a copy of our new ArtSkool Education Kit on hand for Women Paint Riverside too. You can access this on East End Arts’ website.
“Women Paint Riverside has built on the legacy of Women Paint in a monumental way both in scale, and by working with partners who expanded the opportunities for mentorship and knowledge sharing. For the first time, the project includes a mural created by a group of 10 youth artists who were supported by two professional artist facilitators. From the powerful murals, to the opportunities for personal growth and professional development, I’m immensely proud of what we’ve been able to contribute to the Riverside community this summer,” says Bareket Kezwer, Founder of Women Paint and Co-Curator for Women Paint Riverside.
“Native Women in the Arts is proud of the ways this program has amplified the voices and stories of Indigenous women and non-binary artists from a broad array of backgrounds. These murals will be a lasting legacy that remind us of our connection and responsibility to water and to each other as we continue to work towards a more sustainable and unified future together,” says Ariel Smith, Artistic & Managing Director for Native Women in the Arts, and Co-Curatorial consultant for Women Paint Riverside.
“The Riverside BIA community has long understood and supported the importance of public art in our neighbourhood: it provides a way to draw people in, to engage them in a different way, and to get them interested in what we have to offer. Women Paint Riverside has been a transformational street art project that will have a lasting impact on the local community and the health and success of our local businesses. Our connection to the Don River is one to be celebrated and protected, and we’re proud of the way these murals tie together our local community to the waterways that surround us,” says Jennifer Lay, Executive Director of the Riverside BIA.
“Laneways and alleys have historically been areas that do not always feel safe for women and other gender marginalized people, which is why projects like Women Paint Riverside deliberately take up space in the public sphere. Likewise, street art has historically been a male-dominated space, which is why it was so important for East End Arts to join this project to amplify the voices of underrepresented artists. We’re proud of the work we’ve done this summer, about how we’re helping to shift the gender disparity of women/female/non-binary muralists in the world of street art, and about how we’re encouraging important conversations for young artists of today and of the future,” says Shana Hillman, Executive Director of East End Arts.
“At StreetARToronto (StART) we are committed to showcasing, celebrating and supporting street, mural and GRAFFITI artists throughout Toronto. The Women Paint Riverside Project aligns strongly with our program values and demonstrates the positive and powerful impacts of diversity and inclusion, fosters community engagement and civic pride, showcases Toronto artists, fosters mentorship opportunities, and celebrates local communities. Congratulations to the artists and the community – these strong and meaningful murals have transformed the space and community members will feel the positive effects of these impressive pieces of public art for years to come” says Catherine Campbell, Project Manager, StreetARToronto.
To learn more about Women Paint Riverside, please visit, here.
Chelsea Cameron-Fikis, Communications Manager, East End Arts
647-715-2150 X 2 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Lay, Executive Director, the Riverside BIA
416-466-8167 | email@example.com
Further information, photos, and interviews are available upon request.
East End Arts
East End Arts is a non-profit community arts organization that serves the east end of Toronto. We provide inclusive arts programming, events and services to our local communities, and we provide professional development opportunities to both emerging and established artists and arts organizations.
The Riverside BIA, established in 1980, is one of Canada’s first BIA’s, located along Queen Street East between the Queen Street Viaduct to just past De Grassi Street. Rich in history, green spaces and public art, the BIA includes over 100 unique eateries, retails shops, boutiques and a range of professional services.
StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of innovative programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces. Initiated in 2012 as an integral part of the City’s Graffiti Management Plan, StART has been successful in reducing graffiti vandalism and replacing it with vibrant, colourful, community-engaged street art.
Women Paint aims to build a supportive community of women, non-binary, and gender marginalized artists by holding spaces where professional artists and community members feel empowered through art. Since 2017, Women Paint has produced over 100 murals across Toronto.
Native Women in the Arts
Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit, Métis women and other Indigenous gender marginalized folks who share the common interest of art, culture, community and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.