Completed in the fall of 2020, a series of murals in the downtown core are bringing blank canvases to life and giving inspiration at a much-needed time. Painted as a part of the theme ‘Forest City Playground’, Market Lane is now home to four stunning works of art by three talented artists.
Stephanie Boutari, Hawlii Pichette and Meaghan Claire Kehoe were brought on board to transform the exterior brick wall of the WIL Employment Connections building in Market Lane (the pedestrian walkway that connects Dundas Place to Covent Garden Market).
Importance of Public Art
By designing something that didn’t previously exist, outdoor murals create vibrant neighbourhoods and a true sense of community that people want to visit, live in and take care of. They generate important conversations, challenge thoughts and encourage viewers to slow down and admire the surroundings.
Forest City Playground Theme
London is one of the largest urban areas within the distinctive Carolinian Forest region of southwestern Ontario. While London is regularly referred to as the ‘Forest City’, the connection between the urban core of the community and the surrounding natural environment does not always feel tangible. The potential is there to emphasize this connection if we blend traditional and contemporary media, events, arts, culture and recreation, and make the whole process a lot of fun! With this in mind, we have developed the theme of a Forest City Playground.
The murals in Market Lane emphasize the Carolinian Forest zone and invite viewers to consider the role of human beings in shaping the culture of our cities within the wider ecosystem.
Future of Augmented Reality
As you visit the murals, you’ll notice each piece features birds. Working with the team at EXAR Studio, these birds will be brought to live through Engage ARt.
Meet The Artists
Meaghan Claire Kehoe
Hawlii Pichette/Urban Iskwew
About WIL Employment Connections
WIL Employment Connections (WIL) drives innovative employment solutions to bring immigrants and employers together. WIL is a non-profit organization and regional leader in delivering, managing and partnering on publicly-funded labour market access initiatives for immigrant talent since 1984. With funding from all three levels of government and an integrated suite of services to strengthen newcomer job seeker and employer connections, WIL is a leader in bringing organizations and stakeholders together in Southwestern Ontario to support a vision that all immigrants are successfully employed. WIL also leads a not for profit space in downtown London called the Skill Centre that brings together collaborative employment and training partners for the benefit of job seekers in the community.
Partners & Funding
There are many partners involved in bringing this project to life including Andrew Gunn Consulting, young & free press, Dundas Place, Downtown London, Museum London, WIL Employment Connections and Tourism London. Funding for the Market Lane mural project has been provided by Tourism London, Downtown London and through a contribution from the Estate of Marianne Barrie.
Photos courtesy of Jesse Walker Photos