Artists associated with Peel Arts Collective had a lot to be thankful for this weekend! PAC has been working diligently for the past year to create subversive opportunities for artists within the Peel Region. PAC has used this word a lot when describing it’s initiatives and it essentially means opportunities which disrupt an established system or institution. Our goal is to make art something tangible for all level of society – which is why Peel Arts Collective began creating chalk murals this year.
Our first chalk mural was an interactive opportunity for all members of the public to join us and add their own flair to an ever-expanding mural along the pathways of Gage Park. We found this activity to be exciting enough to draw out some of the more established local artists as well as inviting enough for new and younger artists to join in and make new friends in the process.
PAC has struggled to find locations which would allow temporary chalk murals to take place. Unfortunately, through our research, we found that the City of Brampton does not allow chalk in all of it’s public spaces. Originally, PAC had approached the city with chalk murals in line with Movie Nights at Garden Square; which would have allowed us to create murals on theme for the movie.
Unfortunately the logistics never worked out and we instead brought the opportunity to the City of Brampton to find an appropriate place for our associated artists to practice their skills while creating an artistic experience for the public. It was proposed that we be allowed to participate in the Downtown Brampton’s Farmer’s Market as “Buskers”, making our chalk mural a live performance.
The Director of Organization for Peel Arts Collective quickly gathered available artists – PAC worked on short notice with a holiday weekend coming up – and managed to secure local artists Shannon Moynagh and Crystal Lori Boyd, both studio holders at Beaux-Arts Brampton located just down the street from our chalk mural location.
Through-out the week, the Director of Organization and artist Amber Victoria Lee discussed with Shannon and Crystal the best imagery for a mural. Through a brainstorm session in Crystal’s studio, the trio came up with what they considered a “standard” display of arts & culture – a ballerina balanced on an open book with drama masks, a paintbrush & pallette and a saxophone. It was planned, if time allowed, to fill out the background with a colorful rainbow or starburst with small images filling in empty space.
After presenting the idea to the organizers of the Farmer’s Market, PAC artists were given the go-ahead to “perform” on Saturday, October 7th from 8AM – 1PM. The artists worried about finishing the mural in the time frame and Shannon asked her son, high-schooler Aidan Lynch-Moynagh to join the artists that morning to assist in filling in the empty space.
Upon waking up on Saturday morning, the artists found themselves in the midst of a rain shower. This was not a new experience; with Art in the Park run in public parks, PAC artists and organizers have frequently stood around and contemplated the unpredictability of the weather. They decided to persevere and as the rain broke for an hour or two, the artists headed out to begin their work. Before they began, they attempted to dry the ground with a towel & sheet, soaking up any of the excess moisture and small puddles that still sat in the area. Once they felt it was dry enough, they began to sketch out the rough outline.
The artists continually battled the rain throughout the day, using sheets & tarps to cover the image when the rain began to randomly fall and quickly uncovered and got back to work when the weather allowed it. Right near the end of the day, it began to pour a bit harder than it had throughout the day and finishing the mural came into jeopardy. Luckily the clouds broke with just enough time for the artists to fill the entire space in as planned.
A big thank you to to the following people for helping make this public art exhibition happen: Cristina Romasz and Gregory Peddie of the City of Brampton, the City of Brampton & the Farmer’s Market, Shannon Moynagh, Aidan Lynch-Moynagh, John, Crystal Lori Boyd, Dave Braschuk, Amber Victoria Lee, Warren Nickels and a special thanks to Bret Sheppard for photographing much of the process throughout the market.
Visit the artists online: