A new mural has been installed at Martha’s Table, adding some colour to the valued community centre. The mural was designed by local artist Heather Poechman, with help from students at the Kingston School of Art [KSOA] and additional community volunteers.
“It was an opportunity for the community in general to get involved, which was really important to me, but also an important part of Martha’s Table’s goal,” Poechman said of the collaborative effort involved in creating the art piece.
The mural is a rather large installation for Martha’s Table, measuring an impressive eight by 10 feet. The design features a variety of different coloured forks, which come together to form a pair of wings on a green background, the same shade of green as the familiar Martha’s Table logo.
Martha’s Table Executive Director Ronda Candy said, “Several years ago, I decided I wanted to find a way to engage with our community on a new level, one that welcomed everyone to have fun through activity, and made our environment more attractive. After some consideration, we decided that we would make a mural with ‘wings’ on it.”
According to Poechman, the decision to make the wings out of forks was made in an effort to further connect the art piece to the overall mission of Martha’s Table. “I wanted to find a way [to use] wings and colour to really draw attention to what Martha’s Table is. That is when I had the idea to use forks and arrange [them] in the shape of wings. We were still able to make them super colourful and have it be a really big, bright mural, but it’s still related to Martha’s Table’s main [goal] of addressing food insecurity in Kingston.”
After completing a rough draft, Poechman said it took her and the rest of the volunteers approximately six hours to paint the actual mural. “We had a two-day painting workshop for two hours each day over a weekend. Participants came and they first started at KSOA for a session on Saturday… and the particpants themselves actually drew on the mural, and learned how to create stencils and things like that. It was really exciting for them to be able to create the mural basically from step one.”
“On day two,” Poechman said, “we set up tables outside of Martha’s Table so that we were painting outside, and if people were walking by they were able to grab a paintbrush and join us, or stop by and have a chat and see the mural being created in real time.”
Having worked on collaborative murals in the past, including a recent piece with the Limestone District School Board, Poechman did note that this is the first exterior installation they have been a part of. Poechman also remarked that projects like the mural at Martha’s Table are part of their overall mission as a community-based artist.
“I feel very fulfilled by [establishing] creative spaces in Kingston and being able to offer an opportunity for people to engage with Martha’s Table beyond its services is really important to me,” they said. “My art practice is really centred around creating spaces for the community to be creative and also to work with organizations that are focused on social justice… It felt very rewarding to work with so many groups, not just the participants from KSOA, but also… Martha’s Table patrons, vounteers, and their staff.”
Members of the community are encouraged to drop by Martha’s Table at 629 Princess Street to catch a glimpse of the mural and pose for pictures in front of the wings.