Art-Making October 24, 2019

Making Public Art in Liberty Village!

By Jacqueline Black

We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with the Liberty Village BIA! Seeking to nurture arts and culture within their neighbourhood while fostering community engagement, the Liberty Village BIA reached out to us by way of a mutual friend and supporter, FORREC. The project involves 20 concrete benches and five SKETCH artists: Kaya DaCosta, Ezequiel Morales, Kamika Peters, Rowell Soller, and Amber Williams-King. Earlier this month, the five commissioned artists began painting the benches of Linear Park (on Liberty street from Jefferson to Fraser), transforming four benches each into permanent and site-specific murals. 

Artist Kaya DaCosta working on her benches for their series titled ‘Protectors.’

These benches infuse Liberty Street with a unique vibrancy and narrative. Some of the various themes explored within the murals revolve around human growth, reflection, and healing. The artists illustrate parallels between the past and present, as well as the spiritual and physical world. 

Artist Ezequiel Morales working on one of his benches, for the series titledMetamorphosis.’

The artwork developed for this project highlights the role of public art as a tool for storytelling, and its potential to empower urban growth and renewal. As a platform to professionalize the artistic practices of young artists, the collaboration demonstrates a shared commitment to revitalize neighbourhoods using the voices of the individuals who make up its greater community. The opportunity allows emerging artists to develop their craft in a professional, community-based setting while contributing to the beautification of the Liberty Village community.

Artist Amber Williams-King working on one of their vibrant benches.

Join the Artists for a Walking-Artist-Talk on November 5 at 3:30 pm. Meet us at the corner of Jefferson and Liberty Street. Bring your own mugs and join us for hot chocolate, and an artist talk from the five commissioned SKETCH artists, as well as the opportunity to engage with fellow community members.



The artists (from left to right): Kaya DaCosta, Rowell Soller, Ezequiel Morales, Amber Williams-King and Kamika Peters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

This project is courtesy of the generous funding from:

SKETCH COMMUNITY UPDATE (as of August 14, 2020)

Thanks to all who participated in Creating Against the Odds! Our online experiments offered May, June and July. Thanks to everyone who made those experiments during these challenging times.

SKETCH studios at 180 Shaw Street will remain closed to public access until further notice. We are forced in this time of pandemic to rework and consider our sustainability given public health priorities and resources. We will keep you posted on new designs in September.

Connect here for wellness supports.

We've launched our Equity at SKETCH Web page to be in dialogue with you about our Equity goals.

Black activists and communities everywhere are working hard to lead all society to call out and authentically address the violent impacts of White Supremacy in policing, justice, education, health, community and in all systems and infrastructures across Turtle Island (North America). Anti-Black racism is deeply embedded in every fabric of our society. This, as well as our violent colonial legacy of Indigenous erasure, constant gender discrimination and violence, and the violence and mistreatment of those in the disability community, are pervasive pressing truths that we need to face and address, daily, to make change in real ways. We need boldness, energy, honesty, deep listening and accountability, to generate sustained action and inversions of power in the immediate, medium and long term.

What can a community-engaged arts organization in Toronto like us do, to take up its role in this critical renaissance of justice? Join us in learning together with us, what this means.

SKETCH is deeply committed to supporting, learning from and amplifying the brave and creative leadership of young Black Artists and Activists. Check out Art in Pandemic and be inspired by the incredible work of young artists creating during this time.

We call on the Arts Councils to create a Black Artists Fund to support Black Artists and Black Arts and Culture Organizations, recognizing and investing in their leadership in arts and culture, and in building fair and inclusive communities.

Follow us at @SKETCHToronto, and reach out if you have any questions at

Please support us to be a just, accountable and vibrant arts platform for young people on the margins! We need your help now more than ever!

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Dear Friends and Investors,

Greetings from the SKETCH Project Home Team! We hope that you and your family are keeping well and safe during this time.

UPDATE: SKETCH is placing the capital campaign to purchase our studios on brief hiatus until the fall.

Our campaign has been a great success so far, with over $370,000 raised in funds and Community Bonds! However, in face of the COVID-19 pandemic, SKETCH is taking action to suspend the campaign to allow the time needed for those excited about our campaign to be in a more secure position to participate.

If you have already donated to the campaign, or purchased SKETCH Community Bonds, we deeply appreciate your commitment to Project Home. If you've just recently submitted your bond-purchase documents, we will still process your investment.

Have any questions about your donations or bond purchase? Please do not hesitate to contact SKETCH Executive Director, Rudy Ruttimann at

This summer, we'll be working with our campaign partners and SKETCH community to determine exactly when we relaunch in the Fall. We'll be sure to keep you posted over the summer.

You can still inquire about SKETCH, our capital campaign, and its progress at or by following us at @SKETCHToronto.

Thank you for your time, and we wish all the best for you and your family.

-The SKETCH Team & Campaign Advisory