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Community Arts Archive

Youth Graffiti Program

In an effort to reduce graffiti HRM partnered with the Community Justice Society (CJS) to offer the Youth Graffiti Program. Young people who were caught for graffiti vandalism and who were diverted to CJS were offered this educational and experiential program. Youth learned about the full effects of graffiti on the individual, the victim and the broader community. Selected youth additionally had the opportunity to give back to their community by creating a painted piece of public art.

Traffic Control Box Program

Cultural Affairs and Transportation and Public Works partnered to create the Traffic Control Box Program. A diversity of local artists were hired each year to paint murals on the newly created or replaced traffic control boxes found at intersections. The boxes provide a desirable canvas for public art because they are highly visible to both pedestrians and road traffic. Each year citizens and visitors are exposed to the creative work of local artists enhancing civic pride and beautification. Through honorariums and exposure the program helps support our cultural economy. Artists have positive experiences of painting outdoors while receiving positive feedback from passers by. Their artwork has also been successful at reducing graffiti on the traffic boxes.

Spryfield Skate Park Mosaic, 2011

HRM staff working with local youth to create Spryfield Skate Park Mural.
HRM Community Arts staff, Kate MacLennan,
working with local youth.

Community members in the Spryfield area worked closely with HRM Community Arts staff to create a unique piece of public art for everyone to enjoy. The Captain Spry Skate Park entrance is now adorned with the collective artwork of over 300 local students and residents, which makes up the Spryfield Skate Park Community Mosaic. The 47-foot-long outdoor mosaic is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia.

The work is made of a variety of stones, hand-died glass tessare pieces, NSCAD designed frost-proof clay, and various metals. HRM’s partnership with the community began with workshops held in the Captain William Spry Public Library and Captain William Spry Community Centre where residents of all ages helped to design and create the clay tiles and glass mosaic portions of the piece. Youth from J. L. Ilsley High School, Herring Cove Junior High, and Elizabeth Sutherland Junior High School also created portions of the artwork. HRM’s Community Art Program facilitated the project with support from Arts Express.

Spryfield Mosaic Leaves Spryfield Mosaic Tree
Spryfield Mosaic Panoramic

For close up please click image.

Stratford Way Community Art Project, 2011

Pebblestones mosaics before concrete is poured.
Pebble stepping stone in progress, prior to concrete casting.

Artist Julie Adamson Miller facilitated community art workshops in Clayton Park West to create the mosaics for Stratford Way Park. Pebble stepping stones, based on the theme of peace, were made by grade 9 students of Park West School. Special thanks to Michael E. Garrison, Staff Sergeant Retired, who also made one of the stepping stones.

The large mandala, which pays tribute to the four elements including earth, air, fire and water, was designed by grade 11 students of Halifax West, and created with community members, Girl Guides of Canada and Scouts Canada in a series of workshops at the Canada Games Centre.

This project was supported by HRM and a community arts grant from the 4Cs Foundation.

4Cs FoundationStratford Way Park is located off Lacewood Drive, Clayton Park (near the Keshen Goodman Public Library).


Canada Games Legacy Mural, 2011

Canada Games MuralThe Canada Games Legacy Mural reflects the pursuit of excellence between sport and culture. HRM invited four emerging youth artists, Luke Norrad, Eli Masek-Kelly, Shawn Bullen and Andrew Ross, to collaborate on a large mural that captures the spirit of the 2011 Canada Winter Games.

These artists also experienced a first-hand look at the National Artist Program, a unique opportunity for young artists between the ages of 16 and 22 years to practice their chosen craft under the mentorship of leading Canadian artists in a collaborative and cross-disciplinary setting with other young artists from across Canada. Each province and territory selects three artists based on artistic excellence and ability to collaborate. The successful applicants became members of their provincial or territorial Canada Games teams.

The 12 foot by 40 foot mural is currently installed on the south side of the Pavilion Building on the Halifax Common.

Cops 'n Kids, 2010

Cops 'n Kids Quilt paint piecesCops 'n Kids Quilt ink piecesIn September 2010, HRM Community Art staff worked with youth participants of the Cops 'n Kids program during their annual camp event in Tatamagouche. Through art exploration and the use of varied art forms confidence was gained by all participants.

Police and youth worked collaboratively to design and create this legacy piece which is now installed at the HRP Head office in Dartmouth as a reminder of the Cops 'n Kids Program.

This initiative was organized in partnership with the Halifax Regional Police and Halifax District RCMP.

Dartmouth Cove Outdoor Gallery, 2010

Artists working on murals for Dartmouth Cove.HRM, the Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd. and the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission partnered to commision marine themed murals for the 300 ft length of 2 Maitland Street in Dartmouth, facing the Dartmouth Habourwalk Trail. This initiative brightened this highly visable waterfront space while combatting tagging.

The project lead to many spin off murals in the area through collaborations between WDCL and artists.

The seventeen artists who's work can be seen on 2 Maitland St include Sharon Hodgson, Anna Horsnell Wade, Jenni Blackmore, Xiodan “Dinah” Jiang, Maggie Boyd, Laurence Doyon, Laura Dawe, Garry Neill Kennedy, Jason Skinner, Stefan Hancherow, Erik Armbruster, Shawn Bullen, Frankie Macaulay, Adam Fleiger, Christian Toth, Dan Burt, Luke Norrad.

The far right hand side of the wall has been left open for artists to paint at any time.  As a result the wall is in a constant state of change and experimentation for the enjoyment of artists and residence.

Dartmouth North Mural, 2009

Dartmouth North child exploring paint.HRM Community Art staff work with community of Dartmouth North to create a painting to hang in the community police office for Scotia Court Housing. The final work presents an experimentation in colour and texture.

Relations were strengthened between youth, police and local organizations. Partners included HRM, HRM Community Police Office, First Baptist Church Dartmouth, and the Metro Housing Authority.

Beazley Field Outdoor Stadium,

Dartmouth, 2008

Beazley Field MuralHRM staff worked closely with Caledonia Junior High and the larger community to design and paint the large scale mural project on the Beazley Field Outdoor Stadium. Participants had the opportunity to work with professional and emerging artists. The project heightened community cohesiveness, civic pride, provided an opportunity for creative forms of expression and reduced tagging.


Cole Harbour Place Pedestrian Underpass, 2008

Youth creating mural.Youth creating mural.

Local youth expressed interest in promoting safety through community beautification in the Cole Harbour area.   This youth driven project resulted in a youth designed and painted  mural on the pedestrian underpass near the Cole Harbour Place and on the Cole Harbour skate park near by.

The underpass mural was removed in 2010.

Dominion Public Building, Bedford Row, 2007

Artists at work for mural along Bedford Row.In May 2007, over 200 feet of construction hoarding was erected along Bedford Row abutting the historic the Dominion Public Building. Due to concerns around potential graffiti vandalism a partnership was created with HRM to create murals along the full length of the streetscape.

In early July, HRM hosted a two-day community event involving 16 local artists who each painted a mural seven feet high by seven feet wide. The murals reflected cultural diversity, history and contemporary art. Completed murals were displayed during renovations of the building.

Partners included the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Public Works and Government Services Canada, abutting property owners and sponsors.

The mural was dismantled after the building's two year restoration.

Pavilion Mural, Halifax Commons, 2007

Mural, Pavillion building, Halifax CommonsOn the south facing wall of the Pavilion Building on the Halifax Commons six youth painted a 14' x 40' mural depicting the history of the Commons. Youth worked with HRMs Community Art Facilitator to design and paint the mural. Youth researched the history of the commons and past uses. In the centre of the design is a map of the Commons. The left side is a depiction of past activities that occurred on the Commons and the right half is present day activities.

Partners included HRM Community Development, HRM Community Recreation Services, and the Halifax Regional School Board.

In 2011 the mural was dismantled to install the Canada Games Mural.

North Preston Community Centre Mural, 2007

Youth creating indoor mural for North Preston Community Centre.HRM Recreation Services and Cultural Affairs staff worked with youth to design and paint a mural for the North Preston Community Centre. Youth focused on the importance of community gathering spaces, play and cultural heritage through a large scale interactive board game.  The project provided the opportunity for youth to have the freedom to showcase their creative work while developing their painting and design skills and celebrating their community.


Clayton Park Mural Project, 2007

Mural, Melody Drive, Clayton Park.Students from Park West School, Clayton Park Junior High, Fairview Junior High, and Halifax West, with the support of HRM Community Recreation and HRM Cultural Affairs created a 8' x 16' community mural.

The mural, located at the corner of Bedford Highway and Melody Drive, was created as part of the Community Art Pilot Project, an initiative of the Graffiti Management Plan. The Project brought together youth and emerging urban artists in the creation of murals (and other creative art works) as a deterrent to graffiti vandalism. It also aimed to engage young citizens and communities in raising awareness of the strong connections between graffiti management, community art and civic pride.

Following an unveiling ceremony in March 2007, an art show highlighting individual works of art by participating youth took place at the Rockingham Community Centre.