The artists pose in front of their mural

Say Aanii to the Artists Behind the Creator’s Game Mural

Could you describe the area where Creator’s Game is located?

The mural is in Ravina Gardens in Toronto, near a couple of schools. The park is frequently used by youth for their gym classes throughout the day and for baseball in the evenings. There are two ball diamonds and the area gets fairly populated once the games start. There are also several people who bring their dogs to the park on a daily basis. We began to get to know the neighborhood, as many park-goers would stop to chat with us about our work.

Who are the artists who worked on the mural?

Monique Bedard (Aura @auralast),
Jay Soule (Chippewar @chippewar),
Evan Lovett (@evanlovett_art) and
myself, Nancy King (Chief Lady Bird @chiefladybird).

Have you worked with the same artists on similar projects?

Yes, I frequently work with Chippewar and Aura. We collaborate on many projects and share opportunities. We are kind of like a little art-family, which I love. We share techniques, styles, opportunities, materials, ideas and we work extremely well together.

This was our first project with Evan though, who wasn’t initially supposed to be on the project with us. He came up from Philly to work in Chippewar’s tattoo studio as a guest artist and since he is an AMAZING muralist/street artist, we invited him to paint with us. It was such a pleasure meeting him and being able to connect our art practice with his.

Were different sections done by specific people?

When we work on murals, we don’t designate areas for each artist. Rather, we work together as a team to put the entire image up. We support each other throughout the process and get into a nice, collaborative flow. That being said, there are a few specific images that were put in by individuals. For example, the owl is done in Evan Lovett’s signature style, and the Thunderbird is done in my Woodland style and is an original design. The florals are a collaboration between myself and Aura and we use them to frame a lot of our work. They are a combination of Woodland florals and Haudenosaunee beadwork designs.

Is there a message behind the mural?

As much as we have a duty to protect the Earth and fight for her rights, we also have a duty to express ourselves joyfully, to say thank you for everything that has been provided for us and to share our stories.

We have a responsibility to the next seven generations to ensure that they have land to live on, clean water to drink and that they understand the importance of our stories and the knowledge that has been passed down through the generations.

Some of the inspiration came from this quote:

“I feel my ancestors in my blood. I am a body of people that are asking not to be forgotten.” ­ – Upile, Malawian Storyteller.

When you said Aanii Cherryl, what language were you speaking Nancy?

My language is Anishinaabemowin/Ojibwe.

Questions: Cherryl Bird (@cherrylbird)
Answers: Nancy King (@ChiefLadyBird)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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