November 2018, Renfrew County, Ontario
The Pembroke Youth Mural Project
Project Description and Background
The Pembroke Youth Mural Project follows up successful completion of “The Dreamer” mural (above) with the Yakka Youth Centre at the Salvation Army in Pembroke Ontario. The Dreamer is a 25’ x 9’ acrylic mural installed on the entry wall of the Yakka Youth Centre. OV-CAOS artist Megan Spencer who worked with youth members over the period of a year to design, paint, and install the mural led the project. The unveiling ceremony took place in October 2017 and was attended by youth, families, Salvation Army staff and political representatives; our local MP, MPP and the Mayor of Pembroke. At the request of youth for more creative opportunities in the City of Pembroke, we proposed the creation a new mural to be installed in the downtown area. In June 2018, OV-CAOS received word that our proposal to work with youth in Pembroke to create a mural was granted by the the Ontario Arts Council (OAC).
This mural project will contribute to the artistic legacy of Pembroke by creating a new work in a new medium (ceramic and glass mosaic) from the perspective of youth that will be in dialogue with the existing murals. Megan Spencer will lead a community engaged-process with three distinct phases; research/information gathering, design and feedback, and production. Youth will co-create the mural based on their own interests, themes, and aesthetics with the guidance and vision of the lead artist.
Ottawa Valley Creative Arts Open Studio (OV-CAOS), The City of Pembroke, The Phoenix Centre, Renfrew County Youth Network and Red Dress Productions.
Megan Spencer Lead Artist (OV-CAOS)
Anna Camilleri of Red Dress Productions, Mosaic Artist and Mentor
Andy Trull and Anya Gansterer, co-artistic directors and project coordination (OV-CAOS)
Kat Belaire, Youth Intern
Phoenix Centre for Children and Families, 130 Pembroke St. West
The mosaic mural will be located on the Phoenix Centre building on Pembroke Street W. There will be one mural on the top of the front of the building facing Pembroke Street W as well as a larger mosaic on the wall at the back of the building, facing the parking lot.
– Marine grade plywood or MDO (medium density overlay), both of which are designed for water submersion (they will not degrade or delaminate when exposed to moisture/freeze-thaw weather conditions)
– Mosaic materials: stone, porcelain ceramic, and glass
– Weldbond adhesive (appropriate for outdoor application)
Creation process and parameters for the design:
This mosaic will be created within a community arts model, which will consist of three phases.
Research Phase: During four workshops, we will meet with the youth community in Pembroke to learn about their lives as young people living in Pembroke and what they would like to see reflected in the mural. In these sessions, we will gather information through arts based research methods, including discussion in conjunction with art activities.
Design Phase: This arts-based research process will be followed by a two-week period where lead artist Megan Spencer will refer to ideas, images, and motif gathered during the research workshops to develop a series of design concepts.
During two creative workshops, youth participants will be engaged in a collaborative design feedback process where they interact with murals design drafts produced by the lead artist. During the following two weeks, the lead artist will be guided by youth feedback to refine and finalize the design concept. This will lead to a mosaic mural design that both reflects the youth participants, and is suitable for public exhibition. Lead artist Megan Spencer will then create a mural production and installation plan in consultation with mentor Anna Camilleri and installation lead Andy Trull.
Creation Phase: The mural will be created between from May to August 2019. The lead artist and the youth intern will meet with the participants weekly, to create the mosaic mural.
The mural is will be built flat in sections, on tables, and then installed and completed at the site. This installation method ensures that the mosaic mural is removable (should that need arise), and all seams (where one section meets another) disappear to produce a seamless mosaic mural.
It is our hope that, as a community partner, the city of Pembroke will,oversee the mural installation — with the support of OV-CAOS and the Phoenix Centre — using best practice standards that are in keeping in with Pembroke Heritage Murals.
OV-CAOS is committed to conducting an annual site/artwork inspection each spring, and maintaining communications with the building owner throughout the year. OV-CAOS has set aside a reserve fund of $1,000 to cover the cost of repairs. OV-CAOS will revisit the maintenance agreement every 5 years.
City of Pembroke Project Partner Requests: l
– Municipal public works support for mural installation
– Photocopying (colour and black and white)
– Promotion (within existing networks)
– Meeting and workshop space
September to January: Meet with partners , mural location research
February to August: Gathering Information, design development, and creation
September: Installation and Unveiling
Our partners will be recognized through logo placement on public relations communiques and on the permanent mural sign, as well as verbal recognition at public presentations.