Last week, I went to visit Art Starts in their home at the Yorkdale Community Arts Centre, located in the lower level of Yorkdale Shopping Centre. I went to photograph the creation of their community mural project, which is being done outside of Yorkdale subway station and a rehearsal for one of their youth programs called “The Element.”
“The Element” is a multi-faceted performing arts program the focuses on developing leadership skills in youth using the arts. Over the 6 week program, the youth learn dance, drama, rap and other performance skills, cumulating in a showcase of their work.
The community mural being created outside Yorkdale subway station was designed in consultation with the surrounding communities of Neptune and Lawrence Heights (also called The Jungle.) The mural responds to violence in the area and calls for a return to respect and community in the area by placing larger than life portraits of community leaders above the cars that pass by the entrance to the station.