Joel Richardson's "Suit Stencil" Mural Removed [Updated]

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Photo by Martin Reis, in the Junction Triangle photo pool on Flickr.

I mentioned this briefly yesterday: The "Suit Stencil" mural by Joel Richardson in the railway underpass on the south side of Dupont St., between Campbell and Lansdowne Avenues was whitewashed by the City this week.

This is a bizarre twist in Toronto's recently-escalated "War on Graffiti", as Joel worked with the City to install this mural, in addition to his other mural on the north side of the street.

David Rider has an article about this in the Toronto Star. A few key quotes:

Artist Joel Richardson says the city has painted over a popular Dupont St. mural that it paid him $2,000 to create, an apparent misfire in Mayor Rob Ford’s war on graffiti.

A city spokeswoman says the railway underpass wall was returned to drab grey because Richardson’s artwork was unauthorized, uncommissioned, political and may have “referred to (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper.”

The painter and filmmaker kicked off work on the new mural last Sept. 25 with a community party. He had spent at least 30 hours on it, with about another 10 to go, when he learned Monday the city had used grey and white paint to completely blot out the mathematical formula incorporating Morse code symbols and grim-faced businessmen with yellow halos.

Elyse Parker, a director in the city’s transportation services department, said the artwork was erased after a resident complained it was political. City records suggested the older north wall mural was commissioned, but not the one on the south wall, she said.

“This was not approved by the city and we would not endorse any kind of mural with political messaging,” she said. “There was some discussion that the mural referred to Stephen Harper. That’s the suggestion, that’s what it looked like to us.”

Richardson says the mural “had nothing to do with Stephen Harper” — while it is “subversive and anti-freewheeling capitalism” — and his friend Benjamin Blais was the model for the businessman.

Vic Gedris, who runs the Junction Triangle website and led the Jane’s Walk that saw participants question Robertson about his mural, said the city recently painted over graffiti by “Posterchild” in a different, nearby underpass depicting Harper in riot gear.

Read the complete article online here, or check out Wednesday's print edition.

To me, this brings up a few questions:

  • How could anyone confuse the subject of that mural with Stephen Harper? There's hardly any similarity.
  • How did the City lose track of this mural and paint over it without finding out that it was sanctioned?
  • Did they confuse this mural with the anti-Harper graffiti further west on Dupont St. (or perhaps the anti-Harper scribbles by the Bloor GO station?)
  • Why didn't they approach and question the artist, or even our local councillor, before spending money to paint over the work?

For now, we're back to a drab, splattered grey and white concrete wall.

UPDATE FROM COUNCILLOR BAILAO, JUNE 1 2011:

Dupont Street Mural Repainting

Recently a mural located on the South side of Dupont Street West of Lansdowne Avenue was removed by City Staff. While the artist of this mural believed he had approval for the mural the City had no record of permission being granted for art at this location, unlike the work on the North side of the street.

Foremost, allow me to express my sincere disappointment that I was not informed beforehand that this was taking place. I recognize the importance of keeping our City clean and free of vandalism, however, painting over wall murals without consulting the parties involved is not the best means to achieve a cleaner and more respectful City.

As soon as I was made aware that a portion of the Dupont Street mural had been painted over I immediately contacted all City departments involved to get more information about the process and reasoning of this decision.

In the time since this has occurred, I have acted quickly to clarify with City staff how this situation can be avoided in the future as well as working to secure the funding for new art to be returned to this site. Furthermore, I will be holding a meeting with the mural's artist and City staff this week to resolve this issue and provide a productive framework for similar situations in the future.

I strongly believe that Councillors must be recognized as protectors and stewards of local art and community initiatives in their Ward. As City Staff move forward in creating a comprehensive strategy to take inventory of the many murals across the City, I will ensure that the community, and the work's community artist be consulted in any future situations to avoid the unfortunate outcome of this particular case.
Thank you again to all the residents who contacted me on this issue and I will continue to ensure that the artistic and creative character of Davenport is promoted and protected in Ward 18.

More links to media coverage:

I will update the media links as the come in.

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A Learning Moment

I met with Director of the Public Realm Elyse Parker and Councillor Anna Bailao on Saturday. First, Elyse Parker let us know that she had seen the paper work for the south side (the side removed), and that I had been paid to do the south side. Both she and Councillor Bailao felt the city had acted hastily in removing the mural. To be completely fair to the city, the finished mural did deviate from the drawings I had submitted, although I was in no way told that the I could not refine my design. We all felt there was a possibility for a teaching moment here, as I was told the city does not have a list of what murals are legal or paid for by the city. Elyse Parker made the excellent suggestion of the establishing of a data base of city sponsoured mural art.

Then to the sticky question of what is to happen to the wall. The city invited me to paint a mural there, paid me to do it and has now admitted that they made a mistake in removing it. It seems to me that a simple solution is to let me paint the mural back. But then enters the question does a mural about the integrity of of our free wheeling financial system cross the line into the realm of “political art”, an art form banned on city property I am told.

That question I will leave up to Councillor Bailao and Director of the Public Realm Elyse Parker, both of whom so far have been excellent to deal with, and very good natured. They have told me they will get back to me shortly about what is to happen to the wall.

If you have any opinions on this feel free to share them with the Councillor or with City Hall.

And once again I want to thank all of the people who have shown me so much support, it is truly humbling. Just four months ago I was almost dead, what a wild ride!!!

Thank you everyone, even those who have been angered by me and my mural, I love the passion.

Joel RIchardson

yayyy

Joel,

I'm pleased to hear that the city has met with you and determined once and for all that you did, in fact, have permission to paint the south side mural. I'm also happy to hear that everyone has agreed that the City was hasty in the removal of the work and have determined that a change in procedure might be required here. To those people that thought Joel must have been confused or mistaken and repeatedly posted to that effect here, I do believe you might owe the man an apology...or at least a "way to go" for getting the whole mess sorted out in a reasonable fashion.

S**t does happen as they say, but when it eventually gets sorted out, it's nice to have that recognition. So, way to go Joel! I look forward to seeing more of your work decorating our hood in the future.

Sharon

Star Continues Mural Coverage

"The city now admits Richardson got the grant, but says other needed approvals were not obtained, and the mural was markedly different from a submitted sketch. The artist agrees, saying he thought he had free rein with his oblique “anti-freewheeling capitalism” message. The episode exposed the fact that Toronto has no database of authorized murals; city staff are now looking at creating one."

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1005032--whitewashing-a-mural-stirs-...

How many people have

How many people have squabbled over the years about Rothko or Pollock and vowed that it is utter garbage, and then professed how their 2 year old could have done better? As Joel states, "In my mind good art is not always liked or even understood, but that is hardly reason to destroy it" And I concur, the beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder and who are we to say otherwise? While some of you may not have cared for Joel's art work, so be it; it seems just as many enjoyed it. And I am by no means arguing that Joel's mural is better than Richard's, or Richard's is better than Joel's it is not the point, nor is it whether Joel's art work is political or not? I appreciate and I have great respect for all art, and anyone who knows me knows this to be true...

We have a city Councillor who cares greatly about our community and she was completely side stepped and she has been very active in trying to beautify Dupont Street and Carlton Park along with many other parts of our lovely community. Her team has been helping to write proposals and grants to help us make a safer place for our kids. It is not right what happened, and in the future I hope that paper work trials will be followed with a fine tooth comb so we don't ever have to hear again why ONE person made a phone call and somehow this was why the art work was removed so that all that remained was a mess all over the sidewalk. Two wrongs (if it is true what Richard said) do not make a right. The city did not act properly or responsibly.

My passionate comments were made, because I/we all know that this one statement would never have Ms. Parker released from her duties - it was simply to prove how ludicrous this all is. How is it possible that one phone call led to this? I’m sure Ms. Parker is a very lovely person as stated by her collegues, but if we don’t acknowledge when these things happen, they will continue to happen and this is a slippery slope – when we are gathering to improve Dupont Street and Carlton Park how can one turn around and waste money that could have been used for Garbage Bins, flower boxes or proper lighting – it is dark at night on Dupont. This is simply another step in the wrong direction. There is never a good enough excuse for wasting thousands of dollars that we all worked hard for....

Joel did indeed have the

Joel did indeed have the support of the city in making this mural, Richard Mongiat. Unless you think a $2000 cheque magically appeared out of nowhere. Joel has documentation of this. I think people should be concerned that the city keeps such bad records. Joel's mural was excellent and did not need any assistance from any other artist. I hope Joel's mural goes right back up there as soon as possible.

Again, just to clarify. Joel

Again, just to clarify. Joel had permission and a permit to paint the north face of the Dupont St. underpass the year before, not the south. Read Councillors Bailao's response. Cheers Everyone!

Where is the permit then? I

Where is the permit then? I keep hearing about documentation but I have yet to see or hear any. I think Joel may have been mistaken thinking that he was supposed to do both sides. There is nothing wrong with being mistaken. We all do it.

mural

i wonder how an artist could "mistakenly" spend over 30 hours of their time and talent to paint a mural in the neighbourhood....over a year after they painted the first mural. or how an artist could have "mistakenly" told everyone he knew in the neighbourhood that he'd been asked to do another mural. or how an artist could have "mistakenly" received and cashed a cheque from the city of toronto. perhaps the assumption could be made that the city has misfiled or not yet found the appropriate documentation - i mean, seriously...have any of you dealt with the city before?

S**t Happens as they say

I deal with the City almost every day of the year as a matter of fact including Transportation and Parks a lot. I also talk with people at the councillors office a few times a week. There was a change in councillor and their staff and sometimes the left hand does not know what the right is doing; that is not uncommon in a large organization and happens from time to time. Currently for example there is a lot of confusion about new procurement rules and that is holding a lot of projects up. But I also know from experience that the City produces a lot of documentation and notes for legal reasons and generally gets things right. When you get a permit for something you get a copy for yourself; I have some. Maybe people in Transportation never got a copy. Maybe Joel never got a check from one agency but never got a permit from another.

It seems people want a culprit to blame in this case or think there is some kind of conspiracy. Sometimes thing just get screwed up and there is nobody directly at fault.It happens. The important part is to learn from it and I think the councillors message is the right approach.

Reverse graffiti

Slightly off-topic, but I just came across this:
http://wins.failblog.org/2011/06/02/epic-win-photos-hacked-irl-reverse-g...

Reminds of Richard's mural combined with the recent buffing of Joel's.

Code Of Conduct Reminder

A reminder of our Code Of Conduct can be found here:

http://www.junctiontriangle.ca/CodeOfConduct

Personal attacks will be removed or this thread will be closed if it just becomes name calling or unsubstantiated accusations. There have been some thoughtful posts on this topic and it would nice to see them continue.

I like your definition of "no

I like your definition of "no offense."

I meant no offense to Joel in my trying to calm down the the rhetoric around the removal of his mural but was just trying to bring some facts to the situation. I'm flattered that you think I am the culprit in having his mural removed but unfortunately, as I mentioned, I was actually in conversations with Joel in helping him to to improve his design from a straight linear format to something more dynamic.

As for being Joel's publicist - he certainly doesn't need my help judging by all the press he managed to get himself in the Toronto Star and the CBC.

As for his having permission to paint the south wall - well Councillor Bailao just confirmed that he had none from the City so it's kinda moot whatever he says or thinks.

My main concern was to offset some of the badmouthing that the city department - who have been nothing but supportive and helpful to artists doing public art (which Joel also benefited from) seemed to be having hurled at them on the site.

you were in conversations

you were in conversations with joel to help him "improve his design from a straight linear format to something more dynamic"?? this just smacks of passive aggression. isn't joel richardson a professional artist? unless he asked for your help, that sounds like a foggy way of saying you critiqued his work without invitation. which is all the more reason i agree with people on here that you were likely the complainer who took it to the city!

however, given that joel's mural is the talk of the town, i bet 'whoever' did it is kicking themselves as it did the opposite of what their intention clearly was: it showcased his work and turned him into an indie hero!

Richard does make some good points

I don't think Richard needs me to speak up for him, but he does make some good points. First of all I agree with him if you don't have permission to put up a mural, then it shouldn't be there. Joel said he had permission others say he didn't, time will tell.

I don't think it was Richard who called the City. Like I said in my previous posting I spoke to others who live or work in ward18 and didn't like the mural Joel done on dupont south side, most of them artist.

Mural Story: Councillor and media updates

I've updated this entry with more media links and a message from Councillor Ana Bailao. See above.

MY MURAL

Well well well...
It is exciting to have people discussing art so passionately.
There are a number of questions here to be answered, first and foremost did I have permission to do the mural, or am I somehow confused, as seems to be suggested. Well I very much had permission to do the mural, and I am very much in control of my faculties! The inference that I somehow did not understand, I am not going to respond to, in my opinion that is outrageous. I am quite sure that in the records of the Clean and Beautiful fund sits my proposal and acceptance for a mural on the south wall and subsequent payment. I have now been contacted by the city and they have requested a meeting, and I am quite sure that this will be worked out.

I also live in this community, my son goes to school in this community. I have painted around the world, shown in galleries in Canada and the USA and have my paintings in collections in North America, Europe and Asia, one of my paintings hangs in the mayor's office in my home town of Owen Sound. Not everyone has to like my work, and I know some people actively do not like it, such is art. But I was given permission to paint my mural, I did so in good faith, and i would at least expect a level of respect for that. Not to mention, if you follow what has happened with this, that many people did in fact like my mural, and some of them passionately.

I do not yet have all the facts, but i think we should all remain friendly. The city has asked to meet with me about this issue and I am more than happy to do that. I am extremely thankful for all of the support that I have been given, and I am quite sure that something can be worked out.

In my mind good art is not always liked or even understood, but that is hardly reason to destroy it.

I encourage anyone who has questions about this please contact me, like I said I am a member of this community also and want to continue to feel good walking through my neighbourhood, This is not a war, it is art.

Joel Richardson

Great response

Joel you have certainly maintained your composure throughout this and I applaud you. Good job on the radio yesterday too!
I hope the meeting with the city provides some real answers and not the all-too-common attempts at evasion. It was a really disrespectful thing to do that to your mural after you had taken the trouble to go through various bureaucratic hoops. I saw the wall last night and it really looks horrible now - like graffiti done by some dunderhead who used a roller instead of spray paint.

hey joel

way to go mr. richardson!

this is the city's fuck up, no doubt about it.

it says a lot about your understanding of (and appreciation for) art to remain so level-headed in what is so obviously someone else's mistake. people nowadays flip over someone giving them decaf instead of regular, and the city PAINTED OVER a piece of your work without so much as a heads-up.

not that you likely care, but i know a little something about psychology and it sounds to me like that richard guy is just grade-school-style jealous of your work (and likely the space dedicated to it). why else would he spend so much energy on something that ultimately will be cleared up when you meet with the city? i'd put $50 on him being the one who called and complained. but maybe that's just all the sir arthur conan doyle i read growing up...

the best part of this situation is how many people i've seen/read/heard discussing this. people CARE about art. and they care about YOUR art. and i hope that makes you happy. it's the least your city can do for you now, to reaffirm how important public art is.

a supporter,
alberta

artists in the jt

I'm looking forward to hearing the outcome of Joel's meeting with the city. A very curious situation indeed! But let's not pit our artists against each other. Sherlock, I for one am certain of Richard Mongiat's integrity (and his beautiful work). And I'm with Joel too -- it's great to be discussing art so passionately on our neighbourhood website! Joel, do you have a date for your meeting yet?

Mistakes Happen--Keep Focus on Positive

Richard and Joel are both on the same side in the end so lets not create disagreement where none exists. This situation looks to me like a big mistake. Earlier I complained about Ms. Parker but upon further reading and talking with people I was wrong. Sometimes things are just a big srew up and I think this is such a case. Lets learn from it and keep the focus on encouraging a more colourful and creative hood.We are lucky that so many creative people are our neighbors.

Anti-Harper graffiti

One of the stated reasons for the removal of this mural is that supposedly it looked like an attack on Stephen Harper. I find that laughable. Perhaps someone included that in a complaint, but anyone who actually looked at the mural would know immediately that this was not the case.

There has been, however, some anti-Harper graffiti around the neighbourhood. A quite well-known stencil of "G20 Harper" appeared on the stairway leading up to the Railpath at Dupont St. last year. It was done by a graffiti artist calling himself Posterchild. Here's the link. It took a long time for the City to remove this (only within the last couple of months). Oddly enough, during a previous cleanup, the City removed all graffiti in that stairwell except for the Harper one! How bizzarre.

Also, there has been some anti-Harper graffiti on Bloor St. since the election. City hasn't painted over that yet. Here's a photo I took this morning (excuse the bad cellphone pic).

I wonder if this was was just part of the confusion. Other complaints about anti-Harper graffiti in the neighbourhood being applied to Joel's mural? Who knows.... But the mural is gone, and the anti-Harper graf lives.

More Harper

Here's a photo that shows the City had painted over other graffiti in the stairwell but left the Harper stencil:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/swizzlestudio/4999687798/
Weird, eh?

mural removal

My name is Richard Mongiat and I painted the two murals on the Bloor St. Underpass just west of Lansdowne Ave. I wanted to answer this before it gets blown way out of proportion as an attack on the city and it's war on graffiti. I also painted my murals through the same deptartment that Joel Richardson painted his commissioned mural on the north side of Dupont St. I also attended the graffiti summit at the Drake Hotel last night.

In order to paint a mural with funding by the city (which Joel claims he was doing) - not graffiti - on each side of a city underpass you need:

- support/partnering from a local community group (they receive the money from the city - not the artist directly)
- permission from the City works Dept.
- permission from Buildings and Structures, City of Toronto
- The Rail line
- insurance

You don't just get permission from a couple of staffers from your ex-local Councillors office. Adam Giambrone had no personal power to okay a mural on city property. How do I know? Because I went through his office to paint mine and and I had to do all of the above in order to paint the Bloor St. underpass.

I was actually in conversations with Joel about re-working the design of his mural to better serve the space that it was painted on. I asked him repeatedly if he had permission to paint this side of the underpass and and although he claimed he did I honestly think he confused his permission and fee from painting the north face of the underpass the year before for having
permission to paint the whole underpass. This wasn't some conspiracy by the city or the city flexing it's muscles against graffiti. Joel goofed up. An honest mistake. That's all it was.

It also makes perfect sense that the city does not fund murals with supposed political messages. It may be fine and dandy if you agree with the muralist's politics but what if the muralist paints a mural containing views you find offensive? Would there be an out cry then? The city's policies are fair because no one's political views are allowed - left, right, whatever.

I would like to add that Elyse Parker and her staff at the city of Toronto have been nothing but supportive and helpful in the painting of my murals (and many mural/art projects) and the Nuit Blanche project that I did last year with artist Jeff Winch at the Wallace St. pedestrian bridge. They are not the enemy here. Turning this into a witch hunt will only polarize people and confuse the issues of graffiti, public murals and public spaces that the summit last night was starting to address.

Please, ask questions, find out all of the facts before throwing more fuel on the fire.

Richard

Richard

Richard Mongiat

Mural confusion

I'm certain that this whole thing comes down to confusion over the legality of the mural, as you mentioned.

However, I still don't think it was right to just go ahead and blank the whole thing without following up with the artist first, or at least checking in with the current local councillor. Something could have been worked out without causing the big fallout we have now.

I've heard mixed reviews of most of the local murals. Some people really like(d) Joel's mural that got erased, and the evidence is there in all of the online commentary that showed up on Facebook, Twitter, and in responses the news articles. Lots of detractors too, and I can totally understand that. But there have also been negative comments about other local murals. E.g. Someone on this site hates the bike mural (link), others don't like the "childish" murals in various places (while others demand that this is what we should do to get kids involved), and one person even made hilarious comments about Richard Mongiat's murals on Bloor, basically saying that they're a bunch of penises and vaginas! Ha!

If we only ever installed murals that everyone liked, we'd still only have grey walls adorned with tags and "illegal" art. I guess that going through all the proper channels, and making sure it's done right, is the way to go, but I also hope that excessive bureaucracy doesn't kill the creativity and willingness to do public art.

I take penises and vaginas as

I take penises and vaginas as a compliment any day! :)

The bureaucracy wasn't that onerous and has really nothing to do with the creativity. What's unfortunate was that Joel was confused about his "right" to paint the mural there. There are many artists/groups who have no problem going through the bureaucracy in order to have a public space to work upon. These spaces are for personal expression - but with a responsibility - a responsibility to the neighbourhood that has to live with it. You're right in the fact that you'll never please everyone but I think, at the least , each artist/group has an aesthetic responsibility to making the best mural possible, considering and respecting the space it is painted on and the people who live around it. Bad or indulgent murals do nothing but attract more tagging and certainly does nothing to encourage or promote any pride in the 'hood.

This isn't about taking an artist's rights away. It's plain and simple that he just didn't have permission to paint there. If he had, the mural would probably still exist! (proof - his mural on the north face is still there - no one painted that over - Why? because he had permission to paint that one.).

I believe that "making it right is the proper way to go" as you say. I would add a proviso though. I think that designs should be submitted and judged for their aesthetic value by members of the art, graffiti and neighbourhood communities to get the best murals possible and where everyone can have a say. Competitions may not be a bad idea either...

Mural

Mr. Palacio,

I live at the corner of Davenport and Lansdowne, and I greatly appreciate the work you've done in our up and coming ward.

The dog park in Earlscourt is a wonderful addition to the area, and has created a real sense of community. I would have preferred a nice large green space rather than the proposed soccer pitch on the west side of the park, but we can’t win all our battles.

However, can you please explain to me how, in an area that is quickly becoming a hub for young, artistic minded people, who are not only renting in the area, but also making long term investments in the area, this could have happened:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1000475--artist-says-city-erased-mur...

I pass (I supposed passed) this mural daily and am livid that it has been painted over. These murals are part of our urban landscape, and add to the attraction and diversity of the area. We are a walking culture, a biking culture, and we look to our surroundings to stimulate our imaginations. There is nothing inspiring about a white wash wall (underpass on Lansdowne north of Dupont). It is unsightly and bland.

Tagging should be covered, art should not, and art is often driven by political motives. Could you imagine if Banksy’s art, one of the UK’s most celebrated artists, whose canvas of choice is a brick wall, was covered because it was had political undertones? Every single mural he has ever created would have to be painted over.

And, as is claimed, the Mural was removed because of a complaint, shouldn't there be a public consultation before that complaint is acted on? One complaint? Myself and other park goers spent all of last summer complaining that there was a group of men crapping, littering and accosting women in Earlscourt park, but that didn't seem to make any difference. Perhaps I should spray paint my initials on them while they are passed out in a drunken stuper. Perhaps then you will take some action.

My toddler learned how to say both dog and bird at the Caledonia and Davenport underpass. I sure hope they aren’t next on the white washing list.

Sincerely,

Kate

Joel's Mural Debate

The Toronto Star has an article about this incidence:
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1000475--artist-says-city-erased-mur...

Excerpt:
"Councillor Ana Bailão, who succeeded Giambrone in last October’s election, was also trying to discover why Richardson’s mural was erased, noting “I never found it offensive — I walk by it all the time.”"

Elyse Parker: The Decider

Elyse Parker could have called the Councillors office to clear this up. I wonder how she got the gig deciding what is and what is not political.Given the size of the mural one would think that it might have occurred to her that maybe it had been commissioned. I aw the mural and did not see Harper, I saw a generic "businessman". Personally I am not too keen on one person having the say in what people can or cannot see in the hood.

Shameful!

Who knew that we were living in a communist country?! This is MY formal complaint: Elyse Parker should be released from her duties effective immediately. A RESIDENT complained (ONE SINGLE RESIDENT) about a loved mural by Joel Richardson on Dupont Street?! Humour would be my complaint actually coming to fruition!

We live in Canada whereby, we just spent millions urging our younger generation to vote - how dare one resident and one director decide the demise of a city funded project????? The 'active community' of the Junction Triangle just met a few weeks ago with Ana Bailao (in case Ms. Parker is unaware she's our city councillor) to discuss beautifying our neighbourhood - the surroundings of and on Dupont Street. One of the big topics was that of our 2 bridges and their unsafe underpasses. We discussed how they are NOT lit properly, and as well we talked about how much we all appreciate and enjoy the art work, JOEL'S included! Do I ever wish I had a magic communistic wand, because I would wave it and I would have beautiful basket's of flowers, garbage bins, and more lights all available for the safety of our community walking and biking along Dupont especially at night. But alas NO, we have to beg and plead, write application after application to BEG for money to help make our street more beautiful? How much time and money did it take for an entire wall of art to be destroyed by Ms. Parker - oh right, one phone call and probably $1500.00 for time and paint, oh and $2000.00 for the commission itself. This approximate $1500.00, Dupont Street could have used to benefit our community!!! Despicable! It's sad to think that ONE phone call lead to this moral and ethical atrocity - a paint brush won't let me ever forget to tell my children what Ms. Parker did to our community, because she was so ignorant to assume that the art was about STEPHEN HARPER, the funny thing is that her careless actions are now about so much more! Clearly, we must always teach our children to fight for our so-called democracy, because in a splash of a paint brush it can be gone?!

THIS IS THE BIGGEST WASTE OF TAXPAYERS MONEY AND IT IS INSULTING BEYOND BELIEF THE MESS MS. PARKER HAS LEFT ON 'OUR' WALL - IT LOOKS AWFUL AND WITHOUT QUESTION THIS IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO EVERY CANADIAN CITIZEN! WHO WANTS TO WALK UNDER THE BRIDGE NOW, THANK YOU MS. PARKER - PERHAPS YOU NEED TO LOOK UP THE WORD DEMOCRACY AND BEGIN TO REFRESH YOUR MEMORY AS TO WHOM YOU WORK FOR?! AS WELL, WE HAVE SURVEYS THAT ARE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WHEN DECIDING THE FATE OF A COMMUNITY!

I know Elyse Parker

I know Elyse Parker to be a very nice person and a thoughtful, dedicated City employee. The Nuit Blanche project Rail of Light would have never happened on the Wallace Avenue bridge last fall without her cooperation and that of her department. Gaining the support of the various government bodies and rail companies would have gone nowhere if she had not offered her unqualified support and vouched for a bunch of people wanting to being a unique arts event to the Junction Triangle.
Rail of Light will leave a mural legacy that will last for years (we hope) with a project starting later this month. Evidence of Elyse Parker's work is all over this neighbourhood and she has helped make it a more attractive place to live. Before anyone dumps more grief and scorn on her, let's give the facts a chance to come out. Elyse deserves the benefit of any doubt.

Did Joel have permission from the City to do the Mural???

Sandy,
As a residents of this ward I would like to know if Joel had permission from the City to paint the mural. I think this needs to be determined first. Did Adam Giambrone's office get permission or not, we don't know this but I would like to know???

Sandy this might be hard to hear, but I spoke to few people who didn't like the mural, it's more then one. One person in particular who has a lot of influence and is well known in the community and across Ontario told me personally they didn't like it. . For me I like to know if Joel was given the green light or was he lead on to believe he had permission.

I don't know Joel's work all that well to pass judgement. The only stuff I seen was his mural on paton and dupont. There were people who said they should had artist bid for the job rather then to give to to Joel, they felt his realtionship with Marjolein had some influence. This is waht was said and what I heard. It way more then what you are saying. JF

Adam Giambrone confirmed permission

Giambrone confirmed today that Joel had permission to do this mural. Joel also has the documentation from the City, which he shared with The Star and mentioned on the radio.

Joel on CBC Radio

According to Joel on Twitter: "Sounds like I will be on CBC radio this morning at about 8:10 regarding my mural"

I'm assuming that's on 99.1FM.

CBC podcast of mural discussion

In case you missed radio, you can download today's show here:
http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/podcast/

Direct link to MP3 file:
http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/metromorning_20110601_86270.mp3