James Street South Mural Public Art Project

Image of James Street South Sidewalk, wall painted mural, a residence, and Go train

Banner photo credits (left to right): Kim-Kiu Ho, Ryan McGreal, Tom Flemming, Rick Cordiero, Swire Chin

You are invited to join us in celebrating the installation of “Gateway” on James Street South, a mural by Vivian Rosas and Vesna Asanovic.

Date: Thursday September 13, 2018
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Remarks by the artists and City representatives at noon will take place above the mural - outside of Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, 126 James St S, Hamilton. Reception to follow inside.

Project Award

The City of Hamilton has completed a Public Art process to select a mural, to be installed on an exterior wall on James Street South, across from the Hamilton GO Centre in downtown Hamilton. 

The volunteer citizen jury has selected the work "Gateway" by Vivian Rosas & Vesna Asanovic as the winning proposal.  Read the James Street South Mural Public Art Project Jury Report (PDF, 269 KB)for details of the discussion.

The City of Hamilton will print the mural onto aluminum composite panels. Installation is expected in Fall of 2018.

"Gateway" by Vivian Rosas & Vesna Asanovic for the James Street Public Art Project

Partial detail of "Gateway" mural by Vivian Rosas & Vesna Asanovic

Concept Statement

Hamilton is a city of Opportunity. It is a hub for arts and culture and a place for new immigrants to call home. Our mural showcases the creative spirit of Hamilton using bright, engaging vignettes of some of the differing cultural communities of downtown Hamilton, with a focus on: James St., Durand, and the Escarpment/Bruce Trail.

Our mural welcomes visitors with a loose, woven tapestry of different scenes, showcasing life and activities in Hamilton. A father and daughter hike the Bruce Trail, discovering the natural beauty of the landscape. Commuters cycle past traffic using Hamilton’s new bike lanes during rush hour. A young couple gallery-hop during Friday’s Art Crawl; meanwhile, a group of kids are eating dinner at a local Pizzeria nearby. Organic shapes of Black Walnut, White Oak and Sassafras float throughout the piece in hopes to remind people of all the natural beauty that exists here, even in the city’s most urban places.

The James St. South mural serves as a platform to celebrate Hamilton and to highlight the rich, vibrant cultures that inhabit it. We hope it gives our community, guests and visitors a warm welcome that is bright, inspiring and representational of Hamilton.

Public Consultation Results

The public were invited to review 6 short listed proposals and to provide comments during consultation on-line, at the City of Hamilton website and at the Tourism Information Centre from February 22 to March 18, 2018. Thank you to the 547 people who provided their comments. The comments will be reviewed by the volunteer citizen jury and considered along with artistic excellence criteria and technical concerns in their determination of the winning proposal.

Public Consultation Results (PDF, 4.8 MB)

Call for Artists

The Call for Artists for this project closed Thursday November 23, 2017. Thirty-one proposals were submitted. The jury has met and Stage 2 proposals have been selected. Thank you to all of the artist/ artist-led teams that made a submission.

​James Street South Mural Call for Artists (PDF, 286 KB)
​James Street South Mural Call for Artists Appendix A – Submission Form (PDF, 104 KB)
​James Street South Mural Call for Artists Appendix B – Site (PDF, 5.6 MB)
​James Street South Mural Call for Artists Appendix C – Artist Agreement (PDF, 253 KB)​

September 29, 2016  7:00-8:30 PM
Tourism Information Centre, 28 James Street North


Caroline Sutton, Local Resident        
Bryce Huffman, Artist
Clarence Porter, Artist
Victoria Long-Wincza, Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts
Frances Murray, Durand Neighbourhood Association

Pam Mulholland, City of Hamilton, Cultural Projects Specialist (Presenter)       

Ken Coit, City of Hamilton, Program Manager Public Art & Projects (Facilitator)

Cameron Topp
Paven Bratch
Laura Babcock
Sue Stewart-Greene


The City of Hamilton is currently undertaking a Public Art Competition to replace the existing mural by Graham Muir located on west side of James Street South at the GO (former TH&B) Station. The purpose of this focus group is to determine themes/goals for artists to address in the public art call that will be inspirational to artists and meaningful to and representative of the local community.


Pam Mulholland made a presentation outlining the City’s public art process, goals and themes presented to artists for other public art competitions, and technical criteria for outdoor murals.

3.0 Discussion

The following question was presented to the group:
What are the qualities, characteristics and stories of James Street South that you think should be the theme of the public art mural south of the T.H.& B. Railway Bridge?

  • The site has been the location of a railway station for over 100 years and has a rich history associated with the TH&B Railway current and past stations.
  • Unique Geography – the street is defined by the escarpment that terminates the view to the south and the railway-bridge and causeway to the north.
  • The neighbourhood has a very natural character with many mature trees and the treed slope of the escarpment visible rising to the south.
  • A sense of being below grade - the site for the proposed mural is the side of a cut into the ground where the road was lowered from the natural grade in the 1930s to accommodate the railway bridge.
  • The site is seen a gateway to the City for commuters and visitors as it is visible from the GO Station. It is also a gateway to the Durand Neighbourhood and to the Downtown.
  • The art should embrace the architectural heritage of the area. Consider the colour of the local building materials such as limestone and salmon-coloured brick that are prevalent in the neighbourhood.
  • The work should be reflective of the vibrant new businesses and spirit of revitalization on James Street South
  • The work should be inviting/have a sense of arrival.

4.0 Priorities

After discussion it was generally agreed that the following would be included as direction and information for the artists in the Call for Artists document.

  1. A short history of the T.H.& B. Railway and the adjacent neighbourhoods,  including the fact the public art site was originally above grade, a site where the trains crossed James Street South before the grade separation and creation of the railway bridge.
  2. That the proposed art work should be welcoming and invite a sense of arrival to Hamilton, as well as help minimize the negative effects of the railway bridge concrete structure and its dark tunnel.
  3. The subject of the mural should be reflective of an aspect of one or more of the following themes:
  4. The location as a  gateway to the neighbourhood, downtown and the city;
  • The natural character of the street as a geographic connection between the escarpment and downtown and between the historic grade and new current street level.
  • The rich architectural heritage of the Durand and Corktown neighbourhoods.
  • A vibrant community undergoing revitalization.

5.0 Next Steps

The priority statements resulting from this focus group along with technical and site criteria will be used by the City to develop a Call for Artists Document. The City will also develop a short history of the area to be included in the call document to inform artists’ proposals.

It is anticipated that this call will be issued via the Public Art page in the Winter of 2017.  Once issued, proposals from artists will be due 6-8 weeks later.

Contact us

Ken Coit - Manager
Placemaking, Public Art & Projects
Tourism & Culture Division, City of Hamilton
28 James Street North, 2nd Floor
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 6281
Email: [email protected]