International Artist Assistant
Ms. Bellefleur offers services as lead Mural Artist providing works for the public and private spaces, galleries, product as well as commissions for hire. Ms. Bellefleur specializes in the personal assistance role working on large - scale murals at aerial heights for established International Artists.
For the last two years Ms. Bellefleur has been hired on by Award Winning Charitable Organization Steps Initiative. as a Public Art Assistant to some of the worlds top International Street Artists.
Continuing in our spirit of leveraging underutilized public spaces, we were thrilled to have been invited to collaborate transforming the heart of Toronto’s midtown community – Yonge & St Clair – by the City of Toronto and Slate Asset Management.
This 8 storey mural and now celebrated local landmark was produced by acclaimed British artist PHLEGM, known for his fantastical scenes. His work is instantly recognizable and can be found across the world adorning high profile institutions, houses, factories, and in the many interstitial spaces found in cities everywhere.
While this project is international in scope, it was certainly homegrown, with the integration of reflections shared by hundreds of local residents and business owners about what the neighbourhood and city as a whole means to them. We were also fortunate to have been able to embed capacity building into the project, in part through employing local paid artist assistants throughout the work’s development.
Reflecting on the site as the highest point in an otherwise flat Toronto, local City Councillor Josh Matlow shared that “Yonge and St. Clair is one of Toronto’s most desirable neighbourhoods, and creating a landmark piece of public art in collaboration with one of the world’s most influential street artists, reflects the area’s unique geography.”
We hope that project’s of this nature will foster cultural dialogue and attract global attention to the city’s homegrown street art scene. As one of the first of a series of public spacing community investments in the neighbourhood, Slate Asset Management understands the value of placemaking and the role of public art in neighbourhood transformation. The work has already begun attracting cultural tourism to the area.
This project was supported by the City of Toronto, Slate Asset Management, CIBC World Markets, CBRE, Rexall, Dulux Paints.
Pan Am Path - Transformations Connected
Always looking to animate unlikely spaces in a meaningful way, this female-led mural series integrates various designs, styles, and shapes featured below the Gardiner at the confluence of the Martin Goodman and Lower Don Trails (Lake Shore Blvd & Cherry).
The project responds to the many evolutions this site has experienced over the years. Originally, a marsh, the Port Lands were used for industrial activities, and later a dump site for old ammunitions and construction waste. This dumping resulted in the creation of the Leslie Street Spit, which has been reclaimed over the years by seeds, plant matter, and local fauna—specifically birds—as the result of natural ecological regeneration.
“These fabulous murals are an eye catching herald of the transformation of this neglected part of Toronto into a gateway to the new mouth of the Don River and a revitalized Port Lands,” says Cynthia Wilkey, Co-Chair of the West Don Lands Committee.
Artists Fathima Mouhiddin, Meera Sethi, Stephanie Bellefleur and Daniela Rocha have created works that respond to the themes of environmental reclamation and migration, referencing the site’s history through each of their unique artistic styles.
Mouhiddin’s birds tell stories of personal struggles and triumphs experienced by all. They with the determined human spirit that exists within everyone, a sense of shared humanity and magic in a time of impersonal chaos. Sethi’s work references the site’s transition from a WWI munitions dumping ground to its current form – an increasingly vibrant landscape, free of war and violence. The portion of the mural depicting the munitions will be painted low to the ground in the hopes that it will become overgrown with tall grasses, symbolically this suggests acknowledging a buried history while building a brighter future. Both Bellefleur and Rocha’s designs use bold colour in an array of patterns and abstracted figures that include fish, birds, wind, and water, all of which connect to the project’s environmental themes.
This project was made possible through a collaboration with Friends of The Pan Am Path, as part of their Relay 2017.
STEPS is facilitating the local aspects of an international cultural exchange between the City of Toronto and the City of Chicago that will result in street art are being created in both cities to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday and the “Year of Public Art” that is taking place in Chicago. The joint initiative will involve a Chicago artist creating a piece of street art in Toronto while a Toronto artist does the same thing in Chicago.
Drawing inspiration from both cities’ connection to the Great Lakes, the Roncesvalles Foot Bridge which connects West End communities to the Waterfront will host a new work locally. Chicago-based abstract artist Justus Roe will transform this well-loved pedestrian and cycling thoroughfare in collaboration with Staying true to our reputation, STEPS is engaging the wider community in the works’ development through a series of community painting days, as well as integrated capacity building opportunities for local emerging artists and Parkdale youth. Justus will arrive on July 13th and will work most days with Assistants until the mural completion is celebrated on July 27th.
This project is made possible by the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto program, as well as the City’s Economic Development and Culture Division.