Painting a Picnic Bench for the town of Simcoe

Along with other artists, I painted one of five picnic benches which will be placed outside on the lawn at the Norfolk Arts Centre in downtown Simcoe for the ‘Celebrate Simcoe: The Global Garden’ project.

“This is a fun spin on the fact that Simcoe is located in Norfolk County, which has long been nicknamed Ontario’s Garden. Simcoe has a distinctive international culture, which this project aims to highlight. 

Every year, approximately five thousand seasonal workers come to the community from outside the country – mainly Jamaica, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago – to work on large fruit and vegetable farms. Typically, on the weekends, the workers come downtown to shop, eat, and socialize. The atmosphere on ‘Town Nights’ is unique, and we want to amplify this experience by adding artwork that celebrates the diversity of the community. Gradually, the murals and picnic table art will transform Simcoe into a true ‘Global Garden’, enhancing the visual landscape for residents & visitors. “

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The look I wanted to create is similar to stained glass or mosaic tiling. When I think of agriculture, our pollinators come to mind, our essential bees and butterflies. On a symbolic level, butterflies represent metamorphosis and freedom. The bees are a symbol of community, they work hard together in unity. The seat parts of the bench include mosaic curved pathways. This illustrates our travels and our life journeys. This also honours the migrant workers, their seasonal voyages and celebrates their colourful cultures.

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