Melissa Luk and Emanuel Ciobanica created this new work for the Riverside community’s transitioning store fronts, during the Riverside ArtFEST held on July 2014. Generously supported by the Riverside BIA, this three-paneled mural highlights the heritage of the neighbourhood by drawing inspiration from its busy business district, depicted through the artists’ whimsical aesthetic.
Lead artist Melissa began the process for this mural by taking a walk through the Riverside neighbourhood, through which she was inspired by the various “visual puns” and mentally stimulating signs in the community. Some of these visuals cues run parallel to Luk’s own political and civic interests, such as an awareness of local flora and fauna, urban homesteading, gentrification, and heritage preservation. Through her artistic process, she was able to incorporate the essence of the Riverside community, without the use of common, obvious, or generic imagery.
Melissa Luk was born in Richmond, British Columbia. In 2008, she moved to Toronto to study art at Ontario College of Art & Design University. When she was 16, Melissa asked her mom if she could go out and paint graffiti and she said no. Ever since then she's been ...
Emanuel is a professional artist working in a wide range of media. She has been artistically trained since she was ten, she won third place in an international painting competition when she was eleven, and has had several international exhibitions. She was a contributing artist on the Guinness record-breaking longest painted canvas in 2006. Her current work has been featured in the movie “Opening Night”, published in Art Out magazine, and she has been painting heritage murals across Toronto and London (ON).
Emanuel is currently studying Visual art at York University in Toronto, and managing her personal practice, and company, within the busy student life. Her most recent work explores the way we perceive objects, introspection and trying to find new ways to represent form by using different mediums. Her previous interest was inspired by political struggles in eastern Europe, and she often engaging in a social critique. However, her main focus remains personal expression and giving form to her inner world.
The Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of local business people and property owners who work in partnership with the City to enhance their business district. Extending along Queen Street East from the Don to just past famed Degrassi Street, Riverside is a great example of a neighbourhood that is drawing on its history as impetus and inspiration for its new development. The pride of ownership in both the new and old is evident throughout in award-winning beautification and revitalization projects that include new pedestrian lighting and painstakingly detailed restorations of historic façades made of the city’s distinctive red brick.
© 2019 The PATCH (Public Art Through Construction Hoarding) Project - all images are copyrighted by the artist, unless otherwise noted