Hamilton blending art and active transportation on Keddy Access Trail

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Published August 23, 2022 at 5:12 pm

It is one thing to see art hanging in gallery; it is quite another to see it being made in the great outdoors.

Or so the City of Hamilton would have you believe. Tomorrow (Aug. 24), the city is holding live public art event along its largest active transportation carrier, the Keddy Access Trail. Artists from Hamilton, Toronto and Winnipeg will be working on a collection of murals between 4 and 7 p.m. as part of the Keddy Trail Street Art Project. Their works at a varying stages of completion.

The city’s call for artists for the Keddy public art project put an emphasis on “address(ing) the sense of balance between the natural environment, cycling, pedestrian and vehicular infrastructure, the upper and lower city, diverse communities and people, on our journey to becoming a Livable City.“ The six murals are all at entry points to the trail, spread from Jackson St. E. downtown, to Upper James St. on Hamilton Mountain. The artists and collectives were selected by the city earlier this month, after 122 submissions were heard.

One of the artists from Hamilton is Kayla Whitney, the principal of Koe Design. Whitney has executed public projects in Hamilton, Toronto and Collingwood, and has also done work for The El Mocambo, the famed live music venue on Spadina Ave. in Toronto.

Hamilton-based artists are also being represented by Clear Eyes Collective, which is comprised by Darian Poisson, Adam Bates and Josh Kellett. The trio have been painting large-scale murals as a team for more than six years. One local example of their work can be found outside The Parlour ice-cream shop at 581 Concession St., on the east Mountain. Clear Eyes also recently painted a mural in Scott St. in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Completed in 2020, the 2.7-km Keddy Access Trail spans between Hunter St. downtown and West 5th St. on the central Mountain. It has a protected separator from two-way vehicle traffic and also has side entry points on West Ave. (near Wellington St.), St. Joseph’s Dr., the north and south sides of Arkledun Ave/ Jolley Cut, and Tanner St. through Southam Park.

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