When we think of murals, generally we picture an artist working with paints and brushes on a large wall. So, when one comes across something that is novel in its execution, it’s a breath of fresh air. Take for example the Coxwell Station Mural. Unveiled on October 19, 2016, this mural not only has painted elements, but also many individual mosaics depicting a variety of icons and images.
Conceived by artist Cristina Delago, sponsored by East End Arts, the Toronto Arts Foundation, and StART, and executed with the help of community youth and emerging artists, the mosaic spans the retaining wall behind the Coxwell TTC station. It is divided into two parts, one representing the past and the other showing the hope for the future. The motifs chosen by Delago and her team for the mural are meant to represent renewal, potential, change and heritage in the form of seeds spreading forth from a central pod. As you move east, you see images marking defining moments for the community. The path west is more undefined, with abstract images showing hope for a future always in flux. The piece is also bordered by mosaics of iconic Canadian imagery such as wild roses and beavers running the width of the installation.
Agnes Macphail is quoted at the bottom of this installation: “We meet all life’s greatest tests alone.” The title for this article comes from another of her famous quotes: “Never apologize. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.”