A debate is heating up in the Yorkdale area after a new public mural was completed last month by the Essencia Arts Collective, displayed under the Lawrence underpass west of Caledonia Road. The work was approved through the city’s StreetARToronto program which “aims to develop, support, promote and increase awareness of street art and its indispensable role in adding beauty and character to neighbourhoods across Toronto, while counteracting graffiti vandalism and its harmful effect on communities.” Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the entire mural, or watch the video in the player above.
The painting’s global warming theme was meant to highlight environmental issues, but a small yet vocal group of residents are complaining that the images depicted are too frightening. The complaints have actually prompted the city to consider changing the mural.
The disapproval of the artwork is far from unanimous though, and right now there is a petition with at least 1,613 people who support the protection of the current mural. The creators of the petition are opposed to the “unnecessary censorship to appease an undisclosed party” and describe the mural as “a challenging but important statement about the dangers of environmental degradation and reminder of the natural splendour we stand to lose if the earth is left unprotected.”
There will be a Public Community Conversation regarding the mural tonight at 6:45-8:30pm at the Amesbury Community Centre (1507 Lawrence Ave W).
(Images taken from Essencia Art Collective via Facebook)