On Saturday, July 8, local and out-of-town spray paint artists gathered at Charlie Ward Park (220 Darling Street, Brantford) to paint a mural on the large concrete walls that border the park at Wellington and Peel Streets.
The project idea came in 2016, when the Charlie Ward Action Group identified the large concrete wall as the perfect canvas for a mural. When hired in March, Crawford excitedly picked up the project; he had his own exterior painting and cleaning business for over a decade prior to becoming a police officer, and saw it as a great way to blend his skillsets. Crawford knocked on the doors of the local residents, introducing himself and listening to the community’s concerns.
One of the doors he knocked on belonged to Christina Hajiioannou, a local artist and owner of the Starving Artist Gallery Café in downtown Brantford. Hajiioannou helped Crawford find artists to volunteer their time to beautify the wall. Artist Marc Lepage developed the overall concept of the Grand River theme, and came all the way from Montreal to help. Over a dozen artists worked on the painting, including Joshua Melnick from Hamilton.
Crawford also worked closely with the Action Group, a number of community volunteers and businesses who donated their time and supplies, City staff, and the Public Art Subcommittee of the Brantford Cultural Advisory Committee to complete the project. The results are incredible!
Over the last few years, the Charlie Ward Action Group and City of Brantford Parks and Recreation Staff have worked diligently to improve the park, including fixing the basketball court, adding a permanent port-a-potty, and planting a community garden with rain barrels. Head over to Charlie Ward Park to take in the mural, and enjoy the many new features in this community park.
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