Unique sidewalk letters hit third T.O. neighbourhood
Victor Fraser’s ABCs project is just one of many exciting public art projects by Bethany Culbert
How is street art considered a performance?
Toronto artist Victor Fraser sets himself apart from the conventions of street art, inviting the public to watch him in the process of creating instead of simply observing a static image. And his unique works have been spotted in neighbourhoods throughout the city, including new findings in the Beaches.
Fraser has earned a reputation thanks to his artistic flair for colour and choice of location. The art is part social commentary alongside an expression of life in Canada. He believes that his work “freely exercises how to live as Canadians.”
Painting letters of the alphabet on the sidewalk is a running trend for this artist, who explains that “it brings uniqueness and curiosity” to where his brushstrokes land.
His ABCs sidewalk project began between in 2012 with Fraser’s love for communities on the east side of the city on Danforth Avenue, and it has also been seen in the Junction. And his artistic letters recently turned up in the Beaches neighbourhood as well on Queen Street East between Herbert Avenue and Neville Park Boulevard.
Fraser, who grew up in North York, is currently working on a project for SickKids hospital. He describes the project as a “healing zone.”
On Elm Street, he paints uplifting words on the sidewalk to encourage patients, and he also paints fun illustrations such as unicorns and hearts. The project began following his mother’s treatment for cancer at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. “While she was undergoing radiation, I began to radiate art on the street,” he says. Fraser is currently also working in Toronto’s neighbourhoods at fire halls, where he is repainting the crests on the buildings to reflect the individuality of each area.
“It began as a community-spirited project at TFD Station 311 pre–Sept. 11,” he says. “It has slowly grown from there and is now something that was commissioned by the lads themselves. I have done seven halls so far this year.”
It is also a good thing that the Toronto Islands have now reopened: here amidst the earthy colours of nature, Fraser is in the process of painting an intricate compass on the pier.
L-R: A piece from Victor Fraser’s sidewalk art series dedicated to the alphabet; part of his project outside SickKids hospital