Unique side­walk let­ters hit third T.O. neigh­bour­hood

Vic­tor Fraser’s ABCs project is just one of many ex­cit­ing pub­lic art projects

North York Post - - News - 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

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