Downtown Markham is a multi-billion dollar new city, the largest planned mixed use development in Canada, spanning 243 acres within the Greater Toronto metropolitan area. The developers of this massive project, The Remington Group, felt it was important to not only construct millions of square feet for retail, housing and entertainment uses, but to create an art program that would be integral to all these spaces. Remington’s art curator, Shelley M Shier, felt that street art should be a major component of this art program and set aside two locations for the use of street art and photography within this new city.
Building M The Shadow Wheat Paste Mural
My 1981 photograph of a Richard Hambleton shadow figure with a skull added later by Jean Michel Basquiat was selected by Ms. Shier and The Remington Group to be used as a 40’x50’ mural on the eastern exposure of Building M. This may well be one of the largest wheat paste murals in Canada. It can be viewed from two miles away from both Highways 7 and 407 and will be seen by over 100,000 people a day as they drive along these two highways towards Toronto.
Building L & M The Underground Parking Garage
The 1500-car parking garage underneath buildings L & M seemed ideally suited for photographs of street art. After looking at my book, XCIA – The Street Art Project and one hundred newer photographs, Ms. Shier and The Remington Group selected 20 photographs to decorate columns and six to be used as large murals. These photographs were printed on vinyl and placed at locations throughout the garage that would be both aesthetically pleasing and afford maximum visibility. In addition, the noted artist, Bristol-born Nick Walker, was commissioned to paint an originalmural at a strategic location to greet visitors entering or exiting the garage.