Outdoor mural selected for installation in downtown Kingston
The bustling ‘Hub’ of downtown Kingston is about to see a kaleidoscope of colour added to the skyline by way of an outdoor mural entitled Kingston: A Moment in the City.
The work of Canadian muralist and graphic artist Peru Dyer Jalea, the colourful mural was selected as a public art installation as part of the City’s “first ever” private/public partnership. The City of Kingston worked with Highpoint Developments in the artist selection and commissioning process “in alignment with its Public Art Policy” to see the mural installed at Highpoint’s new residential building located at 168 Division Street. Specifically, the mural will be installed on the upper south-facing exterior wall of the new building, which is located at the corner of Division and Garrett Streets in the area often referred to as ‘The Hub’ of downtown Kingston – which is also the location of the City’s ‘The Hub Project.’
The mural is being funded by Highpoint Developments, which will own and maintain the mural once it is installed, the City of Kingston explained in a press release on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. When the project was announced earlier in the year, the City further explained that the mural had been identified as a “community benefit” for the development. Section 37 of the City’s Planning Act defines community benefits as those “facilities, services, or matters” that can be offered to the City as “density bonusing” – things offered by developers in exchange for the City’s allowance of increased height or density on a development site. According to the City, this is the first time a public art community benefit project has occurred in Kingston.
After receiving public input on the two mural proposals shortlisted to be installed at the downtown site, a jury reviewed the two proposals submitted by mural artists in Ontario, and selected Dyer Jalea’s Kingston: A Moment in the City, the City of Kingston explained.
“Peru’s mural brings vibrancy to the area of Princess and Division streets, providing viewers a break from their daily routine and inviting them into their own imagination,” Danika Lochhead, Manager of Arts and Sector Development for the City of Kingston said in a statement.
“The mural aims to encourage an appreciation of interconnectedness and sense of pride: look closely, and you’ll see ‘Kingston’ written within the design.”
The artist explained the piece and his style in his artist’s concept statement:
“My work aims to heal, inspire and uplift people’s spirits by transforming neglected and often oppressive spaces into safe, playful, and imaginative worlds. My style is marked by a puzzle-like use of simple geometric shapes, clean parallel lines, and a use of coexisting primary colours evocative of the simplicity of childhood,” Dyer Jalea stated.
“Coming from a graffiti background, my work is rooted in lettering as a foundation and then polished through a process of intuitive restructuring to custom fit the spaces I am invited to beautify. Legible enough for people to find it in time, the subtly written ‘KINGSTON’ invites the community to continue developing a sense of pride with a new landmark and tourist destination.”
In response to Kingstonist inquiries, the City said that installation is tentatively scheduled for the week of Sept. 19, with the unveiling scheduled for Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. More information about the project and selected mural can be found on the City’s website.
One thought on “Outdoor mural selected for installation in downtown Kingston”
As with all new art pieces, I am sure there will be controversy over it but I really love this project. What a great addition to the city. Uplifting, cheerful, and positive. Nicely done!