Take a walk or drive through downtown Markham and you will see an outdoor artists’ canvas covering 300 feet of construction hoarding at the Birchmount Rd. & Enterprise Blvd. intersection.
From a large pool of candidates, 19 artists were selected to artistically define their interpretations on a 10’ x 8’ canvas of the perfect city for the public to relish.
George Brown College business & design final-year student Sean Thomas is thrilled to be among the select group.
“This is one of the most diverse cities and I have attempted to capture that eclectic mix in my painting along with all the other things that would make Markham a place that people would want to come and live in,” said Thomas who likes to incorporate different styles through his visual presentations. “It’s also a place to be green and inspired which I have captured.”
The artists completed their paintings in a week.
Thomas’s painting is titled “The Great Streetscape”.
“It took me about 40 hours and I was exposed to every weather element except snow,” Thomas said. “The canvas we were supplied with was a bit weird and not something that I was accustomed to working with, so getting the colours to stand out in a vibrant manner was a challenge. I am however happy with the finished product.”
Born in Jamaica, Thomas migrated to the Greater Toronto Area with his family at a very young age and has been a Markham resident for 14 years.
He attended Markham District High School for three years before graduating from Milliken Mills High School.
Thomas said his passion for painting was inspired by late American painter, art instructor and television host Bob Ross who created and hosted The Joy of Painting, a TV program that appeared on PBS in the United States, Europe and Canada.
“My mom (Carol) used to put me to sit in front of the TV and watch that show,” he recalled. “I remember him painting ocean and mountain sceneries and I told myself I wanted to follow his footsteps.”
Thomas’ and the other artists’ paintings will be on display for at least the next five months until the condominiums are completed.
The public is invited to vote on their favourite artist’s work.
Voting, which ends on October 31, takes place at www.downtownmarkham.ca/publicart. The winner will be awarded a $5,000 art commission by The Remington Group for installation in downtown Markham.
“This diverse group of artists is talented, creative and expressive and we are delighted with the conversion of our roadways into an outdoor gallery for everyone to enjoy,” said Chris Bratty, a senior executive with The Remington Group.