On Saturday October 19th, 2019 there was a mural unveiling at 3847 Lawrence Ave E. The TCHC building is 13 stories tall. (Units on the 13th floor would be listed as 1401, 1402, 1403 ... because of superstitions about the number 13.)
With the mural starting at the top of the second floor that makes this mural eleven stories tall. Not the 14 stories everyone kept stating during the press conference. So if 11 stories was the record for the tallest mural in Scarborough kudos to the creators.
Maybe its just me but I found it difficult to see as the sun was beating down heavily on the other side of the building. That radiatin glare got me thinking about what it must look like at night. My reaction was pretty immediate. Before the official event even started I had spoken to several TCHC staff, city officials, and the artists about adding flood lights from the top corners so people could see it.
There is no sense putting art on the wall if you're not going to have it properly lit. Any gallery owner or museum curator would tell you that much. By the end of the press conference I was assured that funding for flood lighting would be provided.
That's not the only issue I had while I was on site. There was the fact that if you look up at the balconies of the "14 story" building it was pretty clear they could have used a scraping and a fresh coat of paint.
Then I got to wondering about how long the brick façade would hold. Many TCHC buildings (mine included) are getting cladding because the bricks have a tendency to come loose. I even contemplated whether or not the artist sprayed a clear acrylic over the entire piece to weatherproof it. Leading to the conclusion that the artwork liking won't last as long as it took for the process from initial concept, through funding applications and community consultations, to the official unveiling.
I really didn't mean for this article to have such a negative spin. All the VIP's sounded so positive at the press conference. Not that the mainstream media would know, They never even showed up. I thought for sure that if Mayor John Tory attended an event I'd have more competition jockeying for sightlines for both my stills and my video. That's not the case. It seems that any event cloaked in the armour of a good news TCHC story doesn't interest the "press". They are just after the bad news … Like flies to shit.
Click here for full video coverage of the 3847 Lawrence Ave E mural unveiling press conference. Speakers included Mayor John Tory, Councillor Ainslie, TCHC Board Member Linda Johnson, and the lead artist Amir Akbari.