Keddy Access Trail Public Art Project
The City of Hamilton has commissioned a series of mural projects for barrier walls along the Keddy Access Trail and the Jolley Cut Underpass. A request for Expressions of Interest was released in June 2022 and from the 122 submissions received, a citizen advisory committee selected six (6) artists/collectives from Hamilton, Toronto and Winnipeg to design and paint the murals in August 2022.
Project Goal and Themes
Murals reflect one or more aspects of the project goal determined by the Keddy Trail Street Art Advisory Committee.
“The Keddy Trail Street Art Project aims to create a sense of connection with residents about the idea of Hamilton as a Livable City. The Keddy Trail serves as a thread linking elements of shared civic space, a literal line cutting through the tension of a growing city accessed by a broad range of citizens. The Keddy Trail Street Art Project commissions will address the sense of balance between the natural environment, cycling, pedestrian and vehicular infrastructure, the upper and lower city, diverse communities and people, on our journey to becoming a Livable City.“
- Keddy Trail Street Art Advisory Committee
Six (6) artists/collectives were selected by the advisory committee to create vibrant new works along the trail.
Dan Bergeron and Gabriel Specter (Fauxreel) are public artists who employ a range of styles, themes and materials to activate and explore the meaning of our shared public spaces. This variety reflects our commitment to site-specificity. The shape, texture and location of a wall and its history or current uses dictate the form and content of our projects. Their public installations aim to open a dialogue with viewers, promoting engagement through both intimate familiarity and wonder at the unexpected.
Over the course of their careers, they have worked with a range of community organizations, governmental agencies and private businesses to create site-specific public artworks. Dan has completed commissions for the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto and the Luminato Festival. His first permanent public work, in glass, Faces of Regent Park, was completed in 2015 for the City of Toronto’s Regent Park housing complex.
Gabriel has been commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts, the ROM, the Department of Transportation NYC, the US Embassy, the John Michael Kohler Art Center and has collaborated with private business such as Prada and Apple to create site-specific murals and installations. Gabriel’s first permanent public artwork, Transparent Geometry, was installed at Public School 746 in Brooklyn, New York in the summer of 2021.
More so the traveller, Gabriel has painted large-scale murals in Japan, Mexico, Germany, China, Russia, France, Uzbekistan and Italy over the past 10 years.
Nereo Zorro also referred to as "Scenereo" is an internationally recognized Artist known for his authentic style that draws inspiration from environmentalism, multiculturalism, community and identity. His unique works of art combine people, animals, nature, and geometry together to articulate diverse stories rich with symbolism and elaborate forms.
The integration of realism and surrealism is what makes Nereo's work so memorable. His work oscillates on a fine line between street art and contemporary art while masterfully capturing stories within those boundaries. He is always delicately, definitively tapping into both the historical and the often-parallel modern themes of our society to deliver important commentary through his beautiful designs.
While his signature style and approach to mural work is better known for his larger-than-life figures, Nereo proves to be an endless well of creative potential who carries a wide range of techniques, skills and vision, that supports his unique ability to adapt and create according to what a blank space needs or doesn't need.
The Canada born creative is a former Technical Draftsman, Building Designer and Graphic Designer, who further developed his passion and experience with Street Art during his 10-year run as a professional commercial artist for the Graffiti Gallery in Winnipeg Manitoba.
In 2018, Nereo was hired by Enbridge Inc. to complete a mural restoration job for what is considered to be one of the largest murals in Western Canada. Some more of his notable job experiences include work produced for Hyundai, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Ondalina Arts Festival (Mexico), Boston Pizza, and the former Governor General, Honourable Michaelle Jean.
Creating is Sowl’s method of self-understanding. Sowl is a 29-year-old Filipino-Canadian, multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Toronto & the GTA. His practice revolves around traditional painting on canvas, tattoo, graphic design, sculpture and murals. Through these practices, he has established a signature style of his own called, 'Art of river fist’. He believes it
deserves the name because of his connection with movement of water flow and his birth chart being a Scorpio (water sign). In this he combines elements of abstract art, illustration-realism, manga, history, western and eastern calligraphy, graffiti & nature.
Being a diaspora of the Philippines in Canada, Sowl took a while to understand his cultural identity but through the arts he has found himself studying his lost knowledge of his people and currently blends his Asian heritage into his work to feel more connected with himself & roots. His Paintings, Sculptures & Murals supply life force and uplifting imagery. He aims to strengthen spaces & communities through his art by awakening ways in which people can feel freedom in
themselves and connect to their roots instinctively.
At a very young age of 7 Sowl had found his soul purpose to be a creator. Drawing was an escape mechanism when he was young to escape the toxicity that was happening at home, he found himself safe and secure in his imagination. Later into his teen years he has found healing and art as a tool to help himself and others through mental, spiritual and living conditions.
Driven by the struggle of his traumas and poverty that he grew up with, and overcoming these challenges, he has found a new self-inspired by the light and love to spread these elements through his work and daily living. Constantly evolving his inner self his work becomes affected and changes with him.
Sowl has paintings and murals in private collectors' homes internationally from Los Angeles, USA, Philippines, Thailand, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, China and in Alberta, Montreal, and Toronto, Canada. He currently lives and works in Toronto.
Kayla Whitney is from Hamilton, Ontario and is a graduate of OCADU 2013 in Drawing and Painting. She started her business, Koe Design, in 2016 and has been painting murals ever since. She have a passion for creating public art and engaging with communities to beautify spaces instilling a sense of pride and ownership in neighbourhoods and creating safe, inviting and inspiring places all over the GTHA.
Kayla uses organic motifs and subject matter in her work to speak the international language of beauty with a goal of creating safe, supportive and encouraging spaces for other artists, community members and the general public where they can come fully into their own unique potential. As a white artist, Kayla is continually aware of my own privilege and how it has allowed her to be where she is today and she strives to use that privilege to uplift our diverse community.
Kayla has executed public projects for the cities of Toronto, Hamilton and Collingwood and worked with Holt Renfrew, The Globe and Mail, The El Mocambo, The YWCA, and others.
Clear Eyes Collective is a mural crew based out of Hamilton, Ontario made up of members Darian Poisson, Adam Bates and Josh Kellett. Our mission is to integrate the mysterious power of art into the plain cityscape, transforming ordinary spaces into an immersive gallery. Our approach to public art has always been rooted in creating vibrant visual environments that connect and uplift the community at large.
We have been painting large-scale murals as a team for 6+ years, and in that time, we have had the opportunity to partner with local businesses, festivals, corporations and different municipalities and cities. We take tremendous care to make sure our designs are tailored to each specific project, while always maintaining a vibrant and bold style that naturally comes out of our collaborations.
Janet Macpherson is an artist who has been working within the realm of sculpture and drawing for over 20 years. She studied ceramics at Sheridan College, and earned her MFA from The Ohio State University in 2010. Janet has participated in many group and solo exhibitions throughout Canada and the U.S. including Slate Gallery in Regina, SK, the Sculpture Center in Cleveland, OH, and more recently at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA.
In 2017 she worked with museum curators, and other artists to create an immersive sound, video, and sculptural experience at The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, which focused on her ongoing interest in the relationship between humans and animals, and culture and nature. Janet employs animal and plant forms in her sculpture and drawing to create narratives that address these themes, drawing inspiration from the strange drawings in the margins of illuminated manuscripts, and the animals of medieval
Janet has been an artist in residence in the Craft Studios at Harbourfront Centre, in Toronto, and at Zentrum fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany. She lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario.