Archive | September, 2018

Berczy Park summer time reading group a success!

24 Sep

fullsizeoutput_224cThis summer, Friends of Berczy Park approached Dulce Gomes of the St. Lawrence Public Library, to see if we could bring adults together for some type of book club in the park. Our idea was to bring adults together in a shared activity, where human connections and relationships are fostered. In our neighborhood, where the population lives in high rise buildings, the park provides a major opportunity for social interaction.

Dulce offered to lead six sessions of a short story reading group; the library would provide print copies of short stories, and participants would take turns reading them out loud with time for discussion when we were finished. Although it took a few weeks for the group to grow and take off, it became a wonderful opportunity for neighbours to meet and learn about each other, and practice our reading/dramatic skills.

Each Tuesday morning we sat around the tables and chairs, grouped together in the shade and enjoyed each story, got to know a little about others in the group, and experienced the wonderful park and the hundreds of people visiting our beautiful new Park.

Were very grateful for the experience which Dulce provided us with, and hope to be able to return to more such mornings in the summer of 2019.

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Participants of our reading club gathered each week in the Berczy Park shade to enjoy short stories and conversation.

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Jacob’s Ladder kids play/artwork almost complete in Berczy Park

16 Sep

IMG_0290After installation began last fall, the art structure/kids play structure planned for Berczy Park is now nearing completion!

This weekend, Toronto artist Luis Jacob, and Montreal-based web-maker/artisan Serge, conducted a first fitting of the web-like rope lattice that will connect the two giant bronze hands of the artwork.

The massive hands were placed in the park in October 2017, as part of the planned artwork. Called ‘Jacob’s Ladder,’ with a rope lattice suspended between the fingers, it recreates the whimsical  string game.  Once completed later this fall, the artwork will be perfect for climbing, swinging, playing, or a backdrop for a casual badminton game or a great ‘selfie’ photo moment.  Over the past 12 months, the bronze hands have become a popular photo spot for park visitors and tourists, in addition to the park’s new famous dog fountain.

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Art inspired by the timeless kids’ string game!

Luis says the concept encompasses an image very familiar to children (the universal ‘string game’), with the hand sculptures designed to create human scale in our rapidly-developing neighbourhood. The string imagery also ties to Toronto art traditions in which rope and string art has been a popular theme over the years, notes Jacob.

Born in Lima, Peru, Jacob is a multimedia artist based in nearby Parkdale. His recent works include ‘Spirits of the Grotto,’ a large-scale metal mosaic panel in the Dufferin & Queen St underpass.

IMG_0287The Berczy Park public artwork was selected as part of the City  arts procurement process, organized by the Cultural Services and the Parks, Forestry and Recreation departments, with the goal of creating a kid-friendly, playful centre piece for the green space in the redesigned Berczy Park. The City oversaw a community judging panel – a committee of local residents and art experts – who selected Jacob’s work to bring to life his kid-friendly art concept.

Park visitors are sure to enjoy this artistic park feature, although smokers are advised that they must not smoke within 9-metres of the artwork, since it is a designated kids play area, and park users must comply with City of Toronto non-smoking regulations.IMG_0285

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