New Street Art Projects Coming to St. Thomas
Feeling the need for a jolt of energy to renew the landscape of downtown St. Thomas, multiple organizations and individuals have come together with the aim of making the city one of the true ‘street art capitals’ of Canada! Two exciting steps toward this ambitious goal have been announced recently by Railway City Tourism, the official Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the City. Both steps will be taken in the coming months.
First, Railway City Tourism recently put out a call for artists to submit proposals to paint murals on boxcars that sit outdoors at the Elgin County Railway Museum. The boxcars will generate visual interest right in the centre of the community.
Proposals by artists Grayden Laing, Mediah, Jaclyn White, and Laura Woermke have been selected, and each ‘boxcar mural’ reflects the connection that the artists feel to the St. Thomas community. Work on the murals will begin in August. For a full description of the project and the murals, check out this blog post on the Railway City Tourism website.
Second, Railway City Tourism has also announced an innovative new partnership with the STEAM Centre, which is located in downtown St. Thomas. The mission of the STEAM Centre is to educate and empower learners to imagine and create the future through play, ingenuity, and innovation using science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
Regarding street art specifically, the team at the STEAM Centre will launch a new program aimed at teaching young artists how to design and execute large-scale street art, including painted murals and digital projections. The goal is to build, from the ground-up, a community of artists who are dedicated to transforming the cultural atmosphere of St. Thomas by using art and technology to inspire new visions of what the community can be.
The STEAM Centre will offer the new street art program for the first time this fall. As an added twist, the first cohort of students will have the opportunity to submit a proposal for a mural to Railway City Tourism. One entry will be selected and the winning artist will be paid a minimum of $2000 to create a new mural downtown! Funding for the STEAM Centre street art program and additional murals in downtown St. Thomas has been arranged in collaboration with Andrew Gunn Consulting and our team at young & free press, as well as the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation and the St. Thomas Downtown Development Board.
For ongoing coverage of these projects, follow our young & free press Instagram page. The photo at the top of this article features one of our teenage journalists, Maddie King, and our owner and editor, Andrew Gunn, standing in front of an existing boxcar mural on the property of the Elgin County Railway Museum. The mural was painted by artist Chris Golding.