Winner picked for new James Street South mural

It’s time to revamp the old, paint-chipped exterior wall by the Hamilton GO Centre on James Street South.

“Gateway” by Vivian Rosas and Vesna Asanovic was announced as the successful entry in the City of Hamilton’s James Street South Mural Public Art Competition this week.

A volunteer jury said on April 11th that the pair’s idea was selected as the winner over 30 other entries and the two will be awarded $4,000 once the city receives high resolution digital files of the mural.

“The brightly coloured, engaging work features vignettes that form a loose, woven tapestry of scenes showcasing daily activities of an urban and nature-rich Hamilton made up of differing cultural communities,” reads a statement from the City. The mural will be installed on the James Street South exterior wall in early fall 2018.

The winning proposal was selected based on the competition’s goal and themes, appropriateness for the site, artistic excellence, technical feasibility and public consultation results.

The Jury Report notes that the “energy and content of (Rosas and Asanovic’s) proposal successfully reflects a changing and revitalizing multicultural neighbourhood, as well as its natural character.”

Jurors also felt that the art work would most effectively address the goal of welcoming and minimizing the negative effects of the dark tunnel.

All entries were to be submitted alongside a concept statement. The concept statement for “Gateway” reads:

Hamilton is a city of Opportunity. It is a hub for arts and culture and a place for new immigrants to call home. Our mural showcases the creative spirit of Hamilton using bright, engaging vignettes of some of the differing cultural communities of downtown Hamilton, with a focus on: James St., Durand, and the Escarpment/Bruce Trail.

Our mural welcomes visitors with a loose, woven tapestry of different scenes, showcasing life and activities in Hamilton. A father and daughter hike the Bruce Trail, discovering the natural beauty of the landscape.

Commuters cycle past traffic using Hamilton’s new bike lanes during rush hour. A young couple gallery-hop during Friday’s Art Crawl; meanwhile, a group of kids are eating dinner at a local Pizzeria nearby.

Organic shapes of Black Walnut, White Oak and Sassafras float throughout the piece in hopes to remind people of all the natural beauty that exists here, even in the city’s most urban places.

The James St. South mural serves as a platform to celebrate Hamilton and to highlight the rich, vibrant cultures that inhabit it. We hope it gives our community, guests and visitors a warm welcome that is bright, inspiring and representational of Hamilton.

"Gateway" was selected as the winning entry to be painted as a mural near the Hamilton GO Centre.

547 people participated in a public online consultation held from February 22 to March 18 to help narrow down the results. “Gateway” was a clear winner according to the consultation results.

“In my opinion, Gateway by Rosas and Asanovic is easily the best choice for this mural project. It emits such a beautiful sense of inclusiveness, cheerfulness, and wonder, and encourages a passerby to get out and explore the city and surrounding wilderness. It will transform the experience of walking by, brightening spirits with its vibrant and cohesive colour palette, and clear visual messages of love, friendship, and curiosity. I truly hope this entry is selected as the winner,” reads one of the comments.

The exterior wall near the Hamilton GO Centre that will be reinforced and painted over with a new mural this Fall. Photo by Julie-Ann Koblun

The City of Hamilton will be responsible for printing the mural onto aluminum composite panels for its installation on the wall.

Let us know in the comments below what you think about the winning design!

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