Tag Archives: commission

Ireland Park Mural Reveal

Ireland Park Mural

Finally I can share some close up images of the various panels from the Ireland Park mural I painted as part of the Burlington Mural Project, for the City of Burlington, managed by Cobalt Connects.

Donna Grandin Mural
Donna Grandin with Ireland Park Mural, photographed by Ron Kuzyk for City of Burlington

The mural was installed on the exterior wall of a small building which houses a concession stand and washrooms. The building is in the center of a large park – Ireland Park. It includes several baseball diamonds, among other amenities, and is flanked by schools and residential streets.

I was selected to be one of the first artists to create murals as part of this project for the City. There were 6 murals revealed yesterday at the launch held at Freeman Station. It is an honour to be included in the Burlington Public Art collection.

I enjoyed the Murals 101 Workshop & Project Launch hosted by the Burlington Public Art Program in April. This was a special service geared to Burlington artists – an opportunity for artists like myself who don’t have a lot of experience applying for public art commissions.

This workshop featured Karin Eaton, Executive Director of Mural Routes and mural artist Allan Bender in a lively discussion about contemporary mural making. They discussed a variety of mural techniques and materials using real life case studies.

anti-graffiti coating
Exploring new materials – anti-graffiti coating was a must for this project.

The community was then asked to give suggestions of locations, and themes for the mural. The theme that I worked with was “Quality of life in Burlington, active living, and families, youth, kids”.

I am not sure what made me choose to do 4 separate images, rather than 1 large one, but right away I thought of the image for panel 3, and then I picked 3 other Burlington locations.

Spencer Smith Park was an obvious choice, it is part of the vibrant downtown, and the waterfront location is ideal for many activities.

Like many other local families we have made numerous good memories there; we have walked, jogged, biked, skated, flown kites, attended festivals, had picnics and used the playground. In fact, when my husband and I first moved to Burlington in 1998, we lived in walking distance to the park.

Mural Spencer Smith Park
Active living in Burlington 1 – Spencer Smith Park, 4’x4′ section of mural, latex on dibond, © Donna Grandin 2015

Ireland Park itself was my next choice, partly because it was the site of the mural, and partly because it is such a Burlington way of life to have the kids in organized sports, like baseball. Green spaces are also an important element for quality of life in this city.

Ireland Park Mural
Active living in Burlington 2 – Ireland Park, 4’x4′ section of mural, latex on dibond, © Donna Grandin 2015

The next panel is my favourite for a number of reasons. It was the first image that popped into my head  when I read the theme for the mural. I love to take the family to Mount Nemo to go hiking.

Just being in a beautiful wooded spot like this makes me feel connected to Nature. Not only is that beneficial to our physical, mental and spiritual health, but I always find it is a boost to my creativity. Also, there are often teachable moments with our kids, and the whole experience is good for relationship building.

In this panel, my two sons make a cameo appearance as they look down at the turkey vultures riding the thermals.

Mural Mount Nemo
Active living in Burlington 3 – Mount Nemo, 4’x4′ section of Ireland Park mural, latex on dibond, © Donna Grandin 2015

Then I painted Sherwood Forest Park which is also used for organized sports like baseball and soccer, and  informally by runners, cyclists, people walking their dogs, or families just out for a stroll.

I wondered if this location was not identifiable enough, and yet to me it was also iconic, both my boys played 3 on 3 soccer there, and it is a common sight in the summer time to see soccer fields filled with kids wearing their team colours.

As it turned out, one of the men who installed the mural recognized the location right away. He said he plays soccer there all the time, and he seemed so happy to have that connection to the mural.

That is the kind of reaction I am hoping for … that Burlingtonians who stand in front of the mural will be able to identify with it because they have had similar experiences.

Mural Sherwood Forest Park
Active living in Burlington 4 – Sherwood Forest Park, 4’x4′ section of Ireland Park mural, latex on dibond, © Donna Grandin 2015

The launch for the event was held at the historic Freeman Station, which is undergoing renovations, hence the visible insulation & subfloor. One of the artists, Clair Hall, unveiled her mural on the outside of the building during the launch.

I brought my ten year old to the ceremony, and he took these last two photos for me. He did a great job, listening to all of the speeches, talking to the Mayor, and not getting underfoot of the press!


Burlington Mural Project launch
Donna Grandin, and Mayor Rick Goldring at launch of Burlington Mural Project

Here is a list of the artists and mural locations:

  • Judy Mayer-Grieve:  King Road Underpass, Ward 1
  • Claire Hall:  Freeman Station, Ward 2
  • Teresa Seaton:  Amherst Park, Ward 3
  • Hannah Sell and Liam Racine:  Port Nelson Park, Ward 4
  • Tamara Kwapich:  Orchard Community Park, Ward 5
  • Donna Grandin:  Ireland Park, Ward 6

You can read more about them on the Burlington Public Art website here, or view the artists with their murals here.

Mural artists
Burlington Mural Project launch at Freeman Station, Burlington, ON

I’d like to thank the City of Burlington for this commission – specific to Burlington artists, and to Mayor Rick Goldring, Angela Paparizo, Adam Louis and anyone else from City Hall who were involved in this process somehow.

Thank you, to the jury who selected me and to Kim Selman and Jeremy Frieburger of Cobalt Connects for guiding us through the process. Thanks to Burlington Signs National for the installation, and to Burlington Post who posted this preview, with a photo of me in front of the Ireland Park mural.

And above all, thank you to my family, who have been dragged into this artistic life of mine kicking and screaming, and sometimes applauding.

Bonus: Click here to view the other mural I painted, 5 years ago, for the City of Toronto.

Update: here is a new article about the mural launch, from the Burlington Post.

Also, here is the Burlington Public Art Map, the mural is #70.






Burlington Mural Project

First Dibond panel being prepared for painting of Ireland Park Mural
First Dibond panel being prepared for painting of Ireland Park Mural

Here is a sneak peek into my studio six weeks ago as I began preparing the first of 4 panels that I will be painting for a mural project I have hinted at but not officially announced yet.

About a week ago a friend let me know that the Mayor of Burlington, Rick Goldring, had shared details about the Burlington Mural Project on Facebook.

The original posting was from the Burlington Public Art website:

Burlington Mural Project

The City of Burlington, through its Public Art Program, has announced six local artists who have been selected for the 2015 Burlington Mural Project.

“This new public art program was designed to tell local stories using local artists,” said Angela Paparizo, manager of arts and culture. “The annual program will commission small to medium-scale murals throughout the city.  These commissions are open exclusively to Burlington, Ont., artists. Free professional development opportunities will be offered to assist artists with the application process and project development each year.”

Artist Selection

A community jury of residents and artists representing each ward reviewed the proposals and selected the following artists:

  • Judy Mayer-Grieve:  King Road Underpass, Ward 1
  • Claire Hall:  Freeman Station, Ward 2
  • Teresa Seaton:  Amherst Park, Ward 3
  • Hannah Sell and Liam Racine:  Port Nelson Park, Ward 4
  • Tamara Kwapich:  Orchard Community Park, Ward 5
  • Donna Grandin:  Ireland Park, Ward 6

Ward 1:  King Road Underpass
Judy Mayer-Grieve
Judy Mayer-Grieve is an honours graduate of OCAD University, Toronto, Ont., and a graduate of The Art Centre, Toronto, Ont.  She has more than 20 years of experience in advertising as a graphic designer and illustrator for National and International clients and is a past instructor in the Art and New Media Department of Fanshawe College.

Ward 2:  Freeman Station
Claire Hall
Claire Hall creates custom art for various clients including hotel lobbies, condo corporations, corporate offices, and private collectors.  Her artwork has been featured on several episodes of Property Brothers and Buying and Selling.  Prints of her artwork can now be purchased at Winners, Home Sense and Marshall’s.

Ward 3:  Amherst Park
Teresa Seaton
Teresa Seaton is one of Canada’s most notable emerging fine art stained glass artists. Teresa holds a degree in Graphic Design from Sheridan College, a BA of Fine Arts from York University and has received specialized training in stained glass.

Ward 4:  Port Nelson
Hannah Sell and Liam Racine
As a collaborative artist team, Hannah Sell and Liam Racine explore art in ways neither would traditionally do as an individual artist.  Sell is a resident of Burlington, Ont., and graduated from Central High School.  She attended Mohawk College for the Art and Design Foundation program and is heading to George Brown College in September for the Fashion Design and Techniques program. Racine is from Chapeau, Que., and is now a resident of Burlington, Ont., since attending Mohawk College’s Art and Design Foundation program.  Racine is attending the Fine Arts program at Centennial College.

Ward 5:  Orchard Community Park
Tamara Kwapich
Tamara Kwapich was born and lives in Burlington, Ont. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA in Fine Art and a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture. Kwapich has been a practising artist in Burlington for many years.  She works primarily in acrylic paint and mediums on large canvases, walls and ceilings.

Ward 6:  Ireland Park
Donna Grandin
Donna Grandin is a professional fine artist from St. Lucia. She graduated with a BA in Art from McMaster University in 1997 and moved to Burlington with her husband the following year. Her art is regularly exhibited in Ontario, St. Lucia and the Barbados.  In 2013, Grandin was invited to exhibit in the 152nd annual Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France. In the last few years, Donna has been involved with the annual Art in Action Burlington Studio Tour, and the Arts and Culture Collective of Burlington.

Community Consultation

In February 2015, residents were invited to submit mural locations and story ideas through online surveys and in-person at the Lowville Winter Games. Residents provided a total of 333 location suggestions, with 114 of those being unique locations. Locations that were not selected in year one will be used in later years of the program


I will of course be sharing images etc. with you soon, but for now I have to get back to painting!


400 McCowan Mural, Scarborough

The following is a post that I’ve brought over from my original blog where I wrote about exhibitions, career highlights etc. in the 3rd person.

On Thurs, there was an unveiling ceremony at 400 McCowan, for the mural Donna was commissioned to paint by the City of Toronto. The rope was pulled by Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker and some of the tenants. The community had held a contest, and the winning images were incorporated into the mural, so that it would portray the spirit of the community.

This painting was created in my studio, on 4 panels, 4″x8″ each. It was my first mural, and my first “commercial” painting job, usually when I do paintings they are for individuals who enjoy my work but have something specific in mind they’d like me to paint for them. So, I pretty much painted exactly what was on the digital file they e-mailed me, but in retrospect – and especially if I was involved from the beginning, instead of being asked to step in and help complete the project – I should have taken more artistic license with the image. And by that I mean, the hard edged clouds on the left are just not “me”, whereas the soft colourful clouds on the bottom right are much more so. Still, this project was a great experience in many ways!


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