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Burlington Announces Four New Pieces to Celebrate Diversity Through Public Art

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We have some amazingly talented artists in Burlington! Be sure to check out their beautiful additions to several local landmarks across our community.

*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — March 6, 2023 — The City of Burlington has selected four new public art pieces from diverse artists and an artist collective. Last spring, diverse artists were invited to submit their ideas to create installations in Burlington public spaces to celebrate Burlington’s diverse communities. A total of $29,000 was offered for the projects.

The City’s public art program is supporting these successful applicants by providing resources and staff support through the planning, installation and execution of the project. This may include connecting to artists and fabricators, help with permits and permissions as well as general project support.

“We are excited to support these diverse artists and group with a wide variety of projects. Our local art community came forward with wonderful proposals that we are thrilled to help bring to reality. The City of Burlington is excited to install these four unique pieces across the city for the community to celebrate our local talent and enjoy their artworks.” — Angela Paparizo, Manager of Arts & Culture, City of Burlington

The selected artists, projects and locations are:

Artist NameArtwork TitleArtwork TypeLocation
Poonam SharmaSpringMuralCentral Recreation Centre
Noah CecolCliffs to GardensPhotographyWaterfront Parking Garage
Hope FlynnBirds of the WorldPaintingTansley Woods Community Centre
Teresa Seaton and John HighleyMaking RootsMosaic glassMaple Park Community Garden

Poonam Sharma, Spring (Mural) Central Recreation Centre

Artist Statement
This mural seeks to create an uplifting design which brings positivity, and engages people from a variety of backgrounds, professions and histories. The folk-art elements reinforce the idea that we are all interconnected and that the strong spirit of people is integral to the health, happiness and success of our communities.

Artist Biography
Poonam Sharma is a Burlington resident, immigrant, woman of color and mother. She is a community animator who brings people together to engage in the creative process. She has painted more than 25 murals across the GTA and believes in working closely with community members. “A painting belongs to the artist however a mural belongs to the community.”

Noah Cecol, Cliffs to Gardens (Photography), Waterfront Parking Garage

Artist Statement
Cliffs to Gardens is a body of work showcasing the natural abundance of biodiversity within Burlington. It features five key locations: Mount Nemo, Cherry Hill Gate, Kerncliff Park, Lasalle Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Each piece represents one location and is made of digitally collaged photography from that geological area. The collaging expresses the rich and detailed local ecosystems and aims to draw continued attention and support to these crucial green spaces.

Artist Biography
Noah Cecol is a queer imaging artist, educator and equestrian from Burlington, Ont. Noah’s work features an appreciation for emotional lighting, powerful colour palettes and a lifelong love for animals and the outdoors. As he continues to explore his own artistic practice, Noah’s interests lie towards transformative relationships in his own life and a deep appreciation for the natural artwork produced by our Earth.

Hope Flynn, Birds of the World (Painting), Tansley Woods Community Centre

Artist Statement
Birds of the World represents that one out of every 66 births in Canada will be born within the Autism Spectrum. These birds reflect on my personal life as I was diagnosed with Autism. I could not speak until I was four years old and the only way I could communicate was through PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). People with Autism use the PECS symbols in speech therapy to describe words.

Artist Biography
Hope Flynn is an emerging Autistic visual artist. Hope graduated from OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in Drawing and Painting. Since graduating, Hope’s artwork has focused on the realism of animal paintings. She has received grant funding from Ontario Art Council and has sold over 400 custom animal paintings worldwide.

Teresa Seaton and John Highley, Making Roots (Mosaic glass), Maple Park Community Garden

Artist Statement
Making Roots of your own takes time, patience, perseverance and determination. One’s personal journey through life, finding their own blend of themselves in their chosen community is symbolized in this artwork. The five different colours of glass radiating from a blended core root represent the mosaic fabric of life in our community. As you view the various roots in this artwork, you are invited to contemplate the communities you belong to and celebrate your own integration and diversity.

Artist Biography
John Highley and Teresa Seaton are two local accomplished glass artists who have worked together on group collaborations, gallery shows and exhibitions since 2010. They have achieved national success with an exhibition at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery. John specializes in detailed and intricate mosaic glass designs while Teresa’s uniquely sculptural copper foiled glass is an artistic trademark. Together they have embarked on a more conceptual large-scale direction of work that utilizes both their strengths.

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