Location: visible from W side Maryland bet. Portage & Broadway; East Face
Occupant: Gordon Bell High School
District: West End
Artist(s): Scott James (unsigned)
Teresa Kuzyk (Art Teacher, Gordon Bell School): "Scott James was only 15 when he
designed it. He was in the art course and one of my students. This was a big plain wall
and we thought it could do with something nice on it! He was always doing a lot of extra
drawing and he always worked very quickly with the assignments in class so I asked him
if he would like to come up with a design for that wall. He did this entirely on his own
time. A few different students submitted things, but his was the best."
"I thought the cityscape design he came up with was very appropriate given that we are a
very downtown school. We're surrounded by concrete and we don't have much in terms
of open field here. Plus, we USE the downtown a lot with trips to the Art Gallery and so
on. So I thought this design was very appropriate. He plugged away at it: it took months
to paint because of the scale and then we cut it all out. There was one other student also
in Grade 10 (Lauren DesMarteaux) at the end that helped with the sky."
"This one is a bit unusual because most Murals are painted right onto the wall. This one
was done indoors and mounted. What makes it even more distinctive is that it was
shaped: the buildings have been cut out. So we have three layers: the flat wall, the
skyline and the buildings. Originally they were going to be more in relief than they are
now- they're in relief right now about 4 inches but because it's at street level we didn't
want it sticking out any more than that. If we had mounted it higher on the wall then we
could have had higher relief. When we hung it, we were very concerned about graffiti
with it being at street level. But it's never been tagged which we're very happy about; so
the artwork is being respected."
"The students here are interesting and take up unusual things like fencing and water polo.
They're interesting kids and I love teaching them! And Scott was one of them. He went
to the Caribbean to compete for fencing while he was here in high school. He finished
his grade 12 and he's now attending University in Ontario somewhere. He came back to
visit me recently; I think he's quite proud of the Mural!"