Public Art & Public Health Coming to a Construction Site Near You
STEPS Public Art
Jun 11, 2021, 12:00 ET
Young photographers exhibited in downtown Toronto as part of citywide exhibits on construction sites.
TORONTO, June 11, 2021 /CNW/ - Underutilized spaces like construction sites are blank canvases for outdoor galleries. This idea inspired Canadian public arts organization STEPS to launch their PATCH Hoarding Exhibits, a service that connects land developers with artists to produce unique artwork in response to City of Toronto requirements. "We help our clients invest in community spaces while creating paid opportunities for artists who've experienced significant lost income throughout the pandemic. All proceeds from our public art services are further reinvested into our charitable programs to increase community access to arts programming," says Alexis Kane Speer, STEPS Executive Director.
Toronto Makes Good PATCH Hoarding Exhibit featuring “Amala’s Garden” by Nawang Tsomo (exhibit photographed by Sharon Mendonca). (CNW Group/STEPS Public Art)
With Ontario Trillium Foundation's support through a three-year Grow Grant to scale their enterprise activities, STEPS has engaged increasing numbers of artists in large-scale projects. The initiative has produced 70 exhibits on construction sites by their roster of 140+ multidisciplinary artists.
"STEPS is highly respected for leading community-focused projects that create welcoming public spaces in our city," says Suze Morrison, MPP for Toronto Centre. "This funding will connect STEPS with more artists and diverse communities, and make Toronto a landmark for public art internationally."
Bareket Kezwer, an artist on STEPS' roster shares, "Public art is important to community recovery; it helps us imagine a different world and feel connected and hopeful." 
During a year when community health has been top priority, STEPS invited GTA photographers under the age of 30 to submit artwork focussed on urban environment, health and wellness for the "Toronto Makes Good" exhibit hosted by Graywood Developments. Artists were supported through virtual photography workshops facilitated with JAYU, and ten photographs are featured at Peter & Adelaide (102 Peter Street). 
"We're excited for the opportunity to feature the work of aspiring artists with STEPS and JAYU. These photos beautifully encapsulate the spirit of what makes Toronto unique," says Christine Chea of Graywood Developments.
STEPS is a Canadian-based public art organization that fosters inclusive and resilient communities through one-of-a-kind art initiatives and engagement strategies. 
Follow @stepspublicart and #thePATCHproject for exhibit announcements.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada's leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
Digital Media Kit.
For further information: Alexis Kane Speer, 416-366-6565x4,
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STEPS Public Art
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