Saturday, August 14, 2021

Monday Mural

 I'm linking up at Monday Mural

August 2021 - St. Thomas ON

I did a quick recap of our trip to Oxford County (outside Toronto) last week.

Click here for the detailed day 1 where I posted more photos of St. Thomas.

Click here for day 2.

St. Thomas is known as the Railway City and also has a large collection of murals. We only managed a few of them, because it was just so hot out. We will need another visit to St. Thomas as it is a very interesting area.

At the beginning of 1979, passenger railway services ground to a halt and slowly the once bustling train stations fell quiet. St. Thomas soon reinvented itself as a centre for car manufacturing, with Ford, Magna International, and Sterling Truck all building large plants and becoming major employers for the residents. Unfortunately, the industry was short-lived. Thanks to the 2008 recession, St. Thomas’ auto plants shut down and unemployment crashed through the community. St. Thomas had to reinvent itself again. With a skilled and eager workforce, things are starting to look up for the city of roughly 44,000. Hopefully the pandemic won’t strike it with too much force.

These were found at the Railway Museum, formerly Canada Southern Station (CASO Station).

Jac wanted to bring the idea of “Many Faces” to showcase an intricate expression of the area. She believes St. Thomas to be a multifaceted town that caters to small business, community, arts and culture. This is a town that has many faces, both literally and metaphorically. St. Thomas is diverse in many aspects as well as inclusive to all members of the community. When she thinks of this town she thinks of the “Many Faces” that intricately come together to make it a supportive and charming place to live.

Grayden Laing's boxcar mural is based on the continuous line drawing style he developed after moving back to St. Thomas from Toronto. The reference material he used for the artwork was from a photoshoot he did with dancers from Step Above Dance in St. Thomas, as well as from a video filmed to be used for the next RotoJam.

Painted by Chris Golding.
You are probably familiar with the (1941!) Disney classic, Dumbo. Did you know it is loosely based on a real elephant? Jumbo was a star attraction in the famed American P.T. Barnum Circus, which is what brought him to St. Thomas and where he was killed by a locomotive.

MEDIAH’s bold and intricate linework represent two of St.Thomas’ landmarks. First, the lines represent the intersection of two historical roads which created St.Thomas’ location. Second, they represent the railway junctions and railway tracks that were built in the late 19th and early 20th century that ‘The Railway City’ is renowned for. The modern urban aesthetic of the artwork represents a progressive future as St. Thomas rebrands itself with a new identity that represents the City’s commitment to a progressive future for citizens and businesses alike.MEDIAH will use bold colours, lines, and shapes to represent the strength and resilience of a determined community focused on growth. The unique geometrical shapes represent the unique individuals working together as a community to build a prosperous, united future. Overall, MEDIAH’s artwork illustrates an abstract art depiction of St. Thomas’ bold and vibrant future, while paying tribute to the City’s rich historical railway routes.

Painted by Sbuone
"I often have an abstract approach. Depending on the surface I paint, I will likely try to find what fits on the spot. I have done a lot of sketches of figurative objects and animals, I considered painting the birds I was seeing all around, but I felt that those boxcars are usually seen from far away and that I should paint something beyond the figurative. I used the space to play with composition and bring out something organic, something alive, that could be an organism or simply a lifeform that has its own dynamic growing on this steel square object."

"If elephants can float on bubbles, anything is possible."
Laura intends to use the naturalization of the existing box car as the background contrasted with the whimsical figures we see throughout her current style. Laura has been placing figures throughout St. Thomas in some unknown, and known locations blurring the lines between fine-art and street-art. The boxcar mural is a natural extension of her work.

Taking inspiration from the St. Thomas-Elgin Immigration Partnership's 2020 cookbook "From There to Here" this mural embodies the celebration of food from across the world. Vibrant and fun, the artists sought to bring food to life in the same way it does when we sit down with friends for a good meal. Food is also the ultimate connector across cultural boundaries and by mashing everything up together you get something beautiful and unique.

In the early 1900's it was a large event when the PT Barnum & Bailey's circus would visit St. Thomas. With every visit came a parade to showcase what audiences could look forward to when attending this amazing circus.

Located at the home of the Ignite Teen Centre and Steam Education Centre, Protocol IK is meant to excite the youth that visit the centre.
Protocol IK speaks to our digital future, and how youth are working to navigate that frenetic landscape.

The piece entitled 'SUBSTRAIT' is inspired by the famous St.Thomas railway system and the town's industrial progression. This piece is meant to bridge the gap between the town's past and innovative future and to uplift and inspire residents of all generations.

Ignore John's finger!

This work celebrates the tradition of the apothecary from its roots of Lemon's Apothecary to today's eclectic Purely Wicked shop.
The artists have honoured botanical medicine across centuries through depictions of the magic of nature.
It is not only by chance that this is now the home of Purely Wicked, offering our community therapeutic healing for the mind body and soul through their products and services. The growth of Purely Wicked is a testament to the opportunities for many businesses and the economic development within St Thomas.
The artists aim to celebrate these business achievements, empowered women in our community and a culture of old world witches and healers.

An ode to St. Thomas! This interactive mural is perfect for taking selfies and sharing with your friends. Be sure to have a close look at the mural to find all the St. Thomas icons!


  1. found some great ones and I bet that the angel wings is popular for selfies.

  2. The Many Faces reminded me of Picasso. I still feel sad any time I see elephants in captivity, especially in circuses. You found some incredible murals, Jackie. St. Thomas was a great place to stop and take in all the atmosphere.

  3. Great murals, if not a fan of a circus in general. But then... back then maybe it helped awareness of the creatures that roam the planet?

  4. You've captured some wonderful murals Jackie. I had no idea Dunbo was based on a real circus elephant. I like that most of those were painted on railway carriages. St Thomas must be a nice place to live.
    Thanks for participating in Monday Murals.


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