Remember our friend Benny Bing? You can read about him in a previous blog post here: https://www.raisingartists.ca/meet-benny-bing/

Quick recap, I first met Benny Bing when I became a Toronto Artscape Inc. Board Member in 2021. Benny also serves on the Board, and we connected over our passion for artistic expression.

This weekend Benny had a Summer Block Party, where he had his official mural reveal in Leslieville – it was spectacular.The mural itself is powerful, feminine, colourful, excellently created and you can even experience the interactive mural firsthand. The Summer Block Party also included a live spoken word performance by Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony, amazing food from Benny’s favourite local spots, a fantastic live female DJ, Toronto Dog Mom ( who ended up being a fellow alumni from high school), Gabrielle Lasporte (a Multidisciplinary Artist),  and Nutbar. Raising Artists was one of the vendors as well and we supported the Summer Block Party by facilitating complementary art workshops for the children who attended.

Benny did something key, he created community around his mural by simply having a Summer Block Party. 

raising artists, mural, benny bing

The art activity we planned for the event was the child’s interpretation of the mural that Benny painted. We first sketched to teach the children about the importance of planning and a rough draft, then we equipped the children with different types of fine tipped brushes, we showed them different techniques, and provided them with all of the colours that Benny incorporated in his mural. We left out the grey, and presented the children with white and black to give them the opportunity to create the colour grey, and get a feel for mixing colours. We can’t assume that all children have the privilege to paint, so small things like mixing paint became a beautiful experience for beginners, and for the children who are adept budding artists, it was a good reminder for them. 

raising artists, mural, benny bing
Why am I writing about this? Hold on, I am getting to the point… In walking around my city in the last 10 years, becoming an art teacher, and executing The Mural Project with Kelly, I really fell in love with murals, and began to truly understand their importance. In my opinion, murals make our neighbourhoods beautiful. They add an abundance of colour to our concrete jungles, buildings, walls and streets that would otherwise go unnoticed – which is a treat for locals, tourists and creatives alike. Murals attract new local businesses, help bring customers to pre-existing locations, boost the economy of an area, but most importantly they continue to fund artists so that they can continue to create. 

What do murals mean to you?
How can they bring a community together?
Inspire you?
Create jobs for artists?
What else can come out of the creating of murals?

Think about it.. 

Until then, 
The Art Teacher