Art Of The Danforth – Past Tense

Way back when Cindy Rozeboom was trying to secure some grant funding for this pie-in-the-sky idea called Art of the Danforth, the good people at the Toronto Arts Council turned her down because they weren’t convinced this neighbourhood would support it.  (An appeal and letters of support from DECA members and others would persuade the Toronto Arts Council to change it’s mind.)

Almost a year later, after a fabulous week of activities, art, community engagement and, yes, fun, it seems unthinkable that the community wouldn’t get behind this amazing initiative.

There is a long list of people who made this happen – from volunteers and artists to organizers and business owners.  And of course there are the people who participated – whether it was as part of community projects throughout the winter or by walking into shops and checking out the art or taking part in the events that happened over the past week.  Thank you to all for helping make this event such a success.

So, what did you think about this project?  Let’s start a little e-discussion about right here.  Post your impressions on the blog or send them to me and I’ll post them for you.

And for goodness sake, check out the photos that local photogs are sharing on the flickr site.

0 Replies to “Art Of The Danforth – Past Tense”

  1. I absolutely adored the art that was all around the Coxwell library. Same artist who did the art in the Big Hole, which I also thought was great. Would be great if it was permanent, until they start building whatever they are building there. Sorry don’t know the artist’s name.

  2. Our role was to create continuity in the public domain for the art event. We wanted to create something better than hanging balloons. We wanted to excite people, to compel people to be engaged and to create wonder.

    We created much of the outdoor decoration in an artful way. There was some minor vandalism and theft, but generally we were very pleased to see that the work was treated with love and respect and enjoyed by many.

    As consulting landscape architects, we are always grateful to the many who contribute to our projects and there were many who contributed to this project. Thank you. We also believe that our projects are only as good as the client. In this case. Cindy was a great client although in essence she was a close collaborator.

    Cindy had a vision and backed that up with her own form of creativity and tenacity and trust in us, in herself and in many others. She believed that if we want to create a joyful, lively neighbourhood, we need to infuse it, in part, with love and beauty.

    Barbara and I were honoured to share in this creative journey with Cindy and the many others who have the passion to actively engage, through art. in the meaningful and promising evolution of the Danforth!!

  3. It was awesome. The whole area felt energized, and I loved how it transformed certain spaces. It felt very democratic, too, and included so many people. Well done!

  4. I loved it, the neighbourhood looked so alive and colourful and it was so neat to see art where I didn’t expect to. The Flickr photos are the icing on the cake, and make me go out and try to find what is in the photos. What a great community that people could carry this off, and there was community involvement at different levels. The organizers deserve mad props.

    I’m disappointed that it ran over two of the busiest weekends my family has had all year so we missed a lot of it, but we enjoyed the family art workshop leading up to the event – Heidi was great to work with – and the sculpture in the park on Saturday was really fun.

    The cut outs were fantastic, especially around dreary Coxwell. I’d love to see permanent versions made. I’m sure there’s a grant for that somewhere….

  5. I thought it was GREAT!!! Lent a very playful energy to the neighborhood. Thanks to Cindy and all the volunteers who made it happen. It was really magical to keep discovering art in new spots as we travelled through our regular to’ing-and-fro’ing in the neighborhood.

    I hope the photos will stay on the DECA flicker site. Its very interesting to see what catches the eyes of others in the area. My daughter and I had fun trying to pinpoint the location of some of the shots that are in the Woodbine station mosaic.

    It would be very cool to see some site-specific performance art in 2011…

  6. As the previous post suggested: ENERGIZE was the result. We loved the opportunity to walk into previously unknown shops to appreciate art and discover unappreciated retailers. Second, the use of vacant storefronts as temporary galleries added to the valuation. Finally, nothing like the experience of watching patrons of the traditional “boys clubs” out on the street, smoking, with coffees and confused about a dance troupe with colorful boxes on their heads.


  7. The installations took what is already a pedestrian friendly strip by proximity and make it an interesting and stimulating area to walk. Temporary festivals are great but I hope this gets people thinking about the long-term benefits of dressing up the street – that would be really fantastic!

  8. As Cindy Rozeboom’s husband, I’m not likely to be seen as impartial, but, with two young kids and a very busy mom, my experience with the project was largely like everyone else’s –a delighted audience member.

    I can say that this was the first time in 4 years that I actually walked *away* from Greektown when I wasn’t beelining for the park or grocery or reverse commuting past it. It was fun to put the kids in the wagon and stroll our own neighborhood to show my daughter “the scary dolls” and the “moving sculpture”, as well as many of the other exhibits. There are a number of interesting retail outlets there that I had never noticed, and I’d gauge from the rise in foot traffic and sightseers out for similar discoveries. I think that’s the fun part of living in a big city – the discoveries that turn up around every corner. For an inaugural “pilot project” with a small budget, I was surprised to see how many exhibits there were, as well as the scale of some of them.

  9. I agree with all of the comments. I loved Art of the Danforth and can see rich possibilities for next year.

    One suggestion I would make for 2011 is to post large, prominent, easy-to-read event listings in shop windows.

    More street ‘happenings’ would be great. The box dancers were magical and drew in passers-by who were unaware of Art of the Danforth. Likewise painting pictures of “home” at Red Sable.

    I wonder if it could happen in conjunction with ‘sidewalk sales’ to get more ppl coming out?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.