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The Mural Project

In 2007 the AGO Youth Council teamed up with guest artist Francesca Nocera to create a mural project about the concepts of love, growth and nurturing through community collaboration. The Council worked with Sketch, a youth drop in art centre in downtown Toronto and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s Hydro Block Youth Group to create a 2-side mural on a free-standing wall in the centre of the Hydro Block housing complex.

Together, participants learnt the art of spray painting, stencil making, and collaborative process.

The mural was launched at the Art Gallery of Ontario in September of 2007, and featured performances by youth from Hydro Block and Sketch.

About Sketch

Sketch creates opportunities for street involved and homeless people ages 15-29, to engage in the arts in a cross-discipline studio environment or in the community. Sketch celebrates the creativity, resilience and diversity of youth who live homeless and see them as key contributors to culture and society.

About Toronto Community Housing and Hydro Block

Hydro Block, deemed an historic site, is located in the College and Spadina area of Downtown Toronto. This development was constructed in 1978 and is made up of one 4-Storey apartment building with elevator service, 3 2-Storey townhome complexes, as well as houses.

About Francesca Nocera

Francesca Nocera’s evolution as a working artist is impressive; one might remark the shifts in layering materials and images, the subtle transformation of shape and characters, or the focused use of cursive text. Less explicit is the movement towards independent, alternative means of sharing her visual arts, from conventional gallery shows to self-designed, self-supported initiatives out of a very pragmatic, almost instinctual need to simply show her art.

Francesca’s canvases stand out; the colors, shapes and textures connote strong feeling and point view demonstrating both the process and the resolution through a single piece. The tone of Francesca’s work feels introspective and expansive in such a way that onlookers tend to stop and reflect for significant stretches of time. There are more questions than answers but the fluid, open nature of each piece allows for the exchange across medium that is the very purpose of art.

We teamed with Francesca Nocera again in 2009 to create a canvas celebrating AGO Youth programming as part of our presence at the 2009 Manifesto Festival at Nathan Phillips Square.


AGO Youth Programs generously supported by

  • Robert Harding & Angel Yang
  • Nancy E.A. Main

With assistance from

  • The Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation
  • Nordstrom

Public Programming and Learning initiatives at the AGO are supported by the Arthur Lismer Group, The Learning Circle, and the Learning Fund

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