After two long weeks at the end of October 2018, working through day and night, we are very happy to announce that “The Whole is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts“, formerly referred to as the Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic, is complete and open to the public at TTC Sherbourne in Toronto, ON.
We are very proud of the finished artwork. “The Whole is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts” is a series of 39 ceramic tile mosaic panels located throughout TTC Sherbourne station at the main entrance, Bloor Street concourse, both East and West bound platforms, and the Glen Road Concourse.
Sherbourne Street Concourse.
Each panel is a blend of geometric patterns that we collected from over 450 people from the local neighbourhood at a series of 24 community workshops held in March and April 2018. Kindergarten children to senior citizens who contributed over 700 unique triangle patterns to this public art project and this project is dedicated to them and the vibrant communities that merge together every day at Sherbourne station.
Pattern-making workshop at the Toronto Public Library St James Town Branch, March 2018.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Csaba Bereczki, proprietor of The Tile Setter Company, and his assistant, Marthonee ‘Kim’ Padua, for their tireless effort and professional dedication to making sure that we completed the installation on schedule. It was a near-super human feat and we couldn’t have done it without you!
Csaba Bereczki, proprietor of The Tile Setter Company (right), and his assistant, Marthonee ‘Kim’ Padua (left)
Rebecca priming the columns on the Sherbourne Street Concourse.
After priming the subway tile walls and skimming with thinset, the first sections of the 39 panels are adhered to the Westbound platform.
After every stage of the installation each panel was covered for protection until complete.
Rebecca reviewing the plans.
All work around the main Sherbourne Street entrance had to be completed between 2am and 5am while the station was closed.
Csaba laying the last tile section in thinset.
With a six-car train passing every 4-5mins, working in an active subway station was a challenging environment.
Midnight snack in the storage room.
David removing the face tape from a mosaic on the Sherbourne Street Concourse level.
Rebecca striping the masking tape bordering a mosaic on the Westbound platform.
Csaba and Kim grouting the mosaics at the Sherbourne Street entrance.
Csaba and Kim giving the mosaics a careful wipe down before the final completion.
David and Rebecca with Csaba Bereczki, proudly presenting the completed artwork to representatives from TTC on the final day of installation.
The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic public artwork was commissioned by the Toronto Transit Commission as part of the Easier Access and Second Exit Program.
We are very pleased to announce the recent installation of ‘Giant’, a 71’ tall artwork commissioned by PC Urban for the newly rebuilt Lightworks Building, located at 22 East 5th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood.
At 71′ tall, ‘Giant’ represents a juvenile Douglas Fir tree, standing at the approximate height a real Douglas Fir might be in 2018, had it started from seed when the original Lightworks building was first built in 1942.
Our special thanks to Gerald Nimchuk and his great team at East Van Vinyl for their expert printing and precision installation. East Van Vinyl are located on 6th Avenue, only one block away from GIANT! Thank you also to Wade Girgulis, Project Manager at PC Urban and Jan Ballard and her team at Ballard Fine Art for this opportunity.
GIANT installation half way. The installation took place in two phases and took four days to complete.
On the doors at the main entrance to the Lightworks Building the GIANT image is fritted inside the glass panes for added protection
The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic will use a set of 12 colours that are inspired by the palette of iconic Canadian painter, Tom Thomson.
Colour testing by Interstyle Ceramic & Glass of the twelve colours chosen for the TTC Sherbourne Community Mosaic
Thomas John Thomson, painter (born 5 August 1877 in Claremont, ON; died 8 July 1917 in Algonquin Provincial Park, ON). An early inspiration for what became The Group of Seven, Tom Thomson was one of the most influential and enduringly popular Canadian artists of the early part of the twentieth century. His paintings The West Wind (1917) and Jack Pine (1916-1917) are familiar Canadian icons. Thomson was a master colourist.
Thomson was one of the first artists in residence at the Studio Building, located at 25 Severn Street, in the Rosedale ravine immediately east of the above-ground Ellis portal that brings subway trains into and out of the north end of the Bloor-Yonge subway station, a short walking distance from Sherbourne Station. His studio’s site and positioning takes advantage of the northern exposure that illuminates the artist’s canvas with very even, neutral light. Completed in 1914, the nonprofit facility was financed by Lawren Harris, heir to the Massey-Harris farm machinery fortune, and Dr James MacCallum.
Thomson would spend the summers in Algonquin Park and winter at the Studio Building in a refurbished a workmen’s shed on the east side of the building that MacCallum had converted so Thomson could work in an environment closer to his beloved wilderness settings.
Over three weeks in March and April, 2018, we led 24 community pattern-making workshops at seven different venues located within a 5-10 min walking radius of TTC Sherbourne Station. We met with approximately 450 local community members, from kindergarten children to senior citizens, who contributed over 700 unique triangle patterns to this public art project. We are amazed!
Check out all of the pattern design galleries on the Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic Facebook page!
After a brief introduction to the project, participants were invited to create their own triangular patterns by arranging colourful cardboard tiles on special templates. Twelve different colours reference the bold palette of Tom Thomson, a famous Canadian painter who once had a studio in the nearby Rosedale Ravine. When completed, every pattern was photographed and catalogued, and the individual or group of artists were given the opportunity to provide their name to be included on the public artwork plaque as a contributor.
Later this year, ceramic tile mosaics will be installed at multiple locations around TTC Sherbourne Station. The mosaics will be assembled from custom-made tiles, manufactured in Canada from recycled glass. Each tile will be twice as large as the cardboard tiles used in the workshops.
The final mosaic pieces will be inspired by the patterns collected from community members. Parts of individual patterns will be woven together to form new and complex patterns representing the creativity and interconnectivity of the local community.
We greatly appreciate the hospitality, enthusiasm and support that we have received. We would like to give special thanks to those who assisted in hosting the workshops: David Crichton, Rose Avenue Junior Public School; Shabana Sohail, Community Matters Toronto; Simon Storey, Rosedale Junior Public School; Allyson Payne, Branksome Hall School; Suja Selvaraj, St. James Town Community Corner; Suzanne Fernando, Toronto Public Library – St James Town Branch; Rick Lee, Wellesley Community Centre; Jaymie Sampa, 519 Space for Change. Individual pattern-making participants will be acknowledged on a plaque that will be located near the station entrance.
The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic public artwork has been commissioned by the Toronto Transit Commission as part of the Easier Access and Second Exit Program.
On March 1, 2018 we were delighted to attend the Grand Opening Ceremony for the new Edmonton Public Library’s Calder Branch. It has been three years since our proposal to create the Calder Community Mosaic was selected by the Edmonton Arts Council to become a piece of public art to be integrated with the architecture of this new construction.
Representatives from the City of Edmonton, the Province of Alberta, Edmonton Public Library Board of Trustees, Six Nation Elders, the Edmonton Arts Council and the people of all ages from the local community gathered for dedication speeches, ribbon cutting (complete with over-sized scissors) and a special Calder Branch cake.
We were very pleased to present the Library with copies of the book publication that we had prepared that describes the community participation in the Calder Community Mosaic and how it was created and installed. Please ask the branch librarian if you would like to see a copy.
The Calder Community Mosaic was designed to fit the entire wall of the Community Room, just inside the main entrance of the new Calder Branch Library by MBAC Architects. Illuminated by special lighting above the artwork and also open to the daylight through the floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around almost the entire exterior of the LEED® Silver building, the mosaic is clearly visible from the street and library forecourt.
After a year and a half of preparation, the Calder Community Mosaic was given a final wipe, polish and an inspection and then it was finished!
In the first weeks of 2018 the Edmonton Public Library will take occupancy of their newest branch and complete their fit out of the space. Stay tuned for an official opening date in the New Year!
Our thanks to Craig Lemiski from Ellis Don for keeping us all safe on his construction site. His team has done a great job building the new library and it will be a public space that the whole community will be proud of. We also would like to thank the support and assistance from Robert Harpin, Andrea Bowes and Eva Marie Clarke from the Edmonton Arts Council.
At the end of a busy week the last major step was to apply the grout that fills in the gaps between each tile. We chose a middle grey colour that would continue to look good over time and would unite the complete mosaic design together while also giving each unique art-glass triangle tile definition. Thanks again to Csaba and Adam from the Tile Setting Company for their great work!
Watching the mosaic come together in its final form up onto the Community Room wall was an exciting process. Each part of the overall pattern that forms the final mosaic design was sourced directly from members of the Calder Community who attended one of the community pattern workshops held in June 2016.
In the spirit of the project, the installation team worked together and over one full day we unboxed and prepared each numbered panel before Csaba Bereczki, Journeyman Installer and owner of The Tilesetter Company and his assistant Adam set the patterns in place up on the wall. There is positive energy and everything is looking good!
For the final part of the project, the installation of the custom art-glass tile mosaic onto the wall of the Calder Branch Library’s Community Room, we turned to the expertise of Edmonton-local Csaba Bereczki, Journeyman Installer and owner of The Tilesetter Company. With his assistant, Adam, they prepared the 4.8m x 2.4m wall in the Community Room with a special anti-fracture membrane. The new 10,000 sq. ft. stand-alone Calder Branch Library is LEED® Silver certified and all the products used in the installation of the new artwork are the best available and will ensure that the Mosaic looks its very best for many years to come.
After weeks of careful assembly, the mosaic panels were packed up at our studio and made ready for transportation to the Calder Branch Library. Special thanks to Annie and Terri from Taste Culinary Solutions for lending us their warehouse and helping us with their forklift.
Andrea Bowes, Public Art Conservator with the Edmonton Arts Council gave us a warm welcome to Edmonton and assisted us with the delivery of the mosaic boxes to the nearly completed Calder Branch Library. After 18 months of design and fabrication it is a big relief to have the tiles safely inside the beautiful new library by MBAC!
Here is a peek behind the scenes at the production of the Calder Community Mosaic. The mosaic mural is made of ~7500 custom-made triangular-shaped stained glass tiles. The ten different colours of tile used in the mosaic were inspired by the Albertan environment. The tiles are laid out in 30cm x 30cm sections. We then photograph each section for the archive, give it a reference number and then carefully pack it, ready for installation in the Community Room at the new Calder Branch Library. There are 120 panels in all that make up the 4.8m x 2.4m mural mosaic!
Installation is scheduled for early December 2017 in time for the Library’s grand opening – we can’t wait!
We’re excited to have received the custom-cut stained glass tiles for the community room mosaic at the new Calder Branch Library in Edmonton. There are 10 different colours of art glass tiles that closely match the coloured tiles that everybody used at the Calder community workshops we held last year. Over the next couple of months we’ll be fabricating the mosaic in our studio in preparation for the final installation at the end of this year when the Calder Branch Library construction is completed.
Stay tuned for updates…