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2005 09 10
public art or vandalism?

In 1991, this writer and Norman Richards completed an artwork entitled "Spadina Line" which celebrated the history of Toronto between Davenport Road and Dupont Street from the glacial age to the present time. The artwork was commissioned through the City of Toronto's public art programme through a national competition.

In 1997, the project was a awarded a City of Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence. It was praised by one jury member as "a thoughtful and understated civic contribution to the street".

Earlier this summer, under the approval of the local counsellor, a group called ArtStart, undertook the painting of a mural. The mural was painted over a large portion of the award-winning artwork showing total disregard.

Over the next few days, this writer will describe this act of vandalism parading as civic beautification as a means of initiating dialogue on the nature of public artwork, the politics and public perception of same.
[email this story] Posted by Brad Golden / Lynne Eichenberg on 09/10 at 06:00 AM

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