Every year, three or four talented artists are chosen to have their artwork featured on an 80 foot long wall in the main corridor of the Atrium Gallery at the City of Vaughan. This program, called On the Slate, has been in the works since 2011 and aims to showcase local talent as well as expose citizens of the city (and neighbouring regions) to various artwork.
Starting in late May, the City showcased two projects: Project 99 and Canada 150.
Stephen Woo designed Project 99 to interpret diversity in Vaughan—a city largely comprised of immigrants. He captured many of the subjects’ portraits both through people he met during international travel and those close to home.
Sharon Gaum-Kuchar, Art Curator at the City of Vaughan, assisted with the selection of his artwork and how to produce it. Admiring how his work portrayed the diversity and 99 languages spoken in the region she dedicates her work for, Gaum-Kuchar recommended that Woo have his images printed on brushed aluminum for the display.
Brushed aluminum gave the installation a contemporary feel and a clean design with no borders. Functionally, the brushed aluminum avoided glare and shimmered beautifully as pedestrians walked past the pieces in the long hall.
Project 99 received positive feedback, with members of the community commenting on their sense of awe at the effect of the brushed metal combined with the powerful stories told in Woo’s work.
The second project, Canada 150, was a project spearheaded by the City of Vaughan Archives Department as a way to celebrate the major Canadian event by looking back throughout the history of Vaughan.
Gaum-Kuchar, assisting on this project, chose for the prints to be done on wood. The birch panels were a natural fit for a heritage feel, capturing the black and white images perfectly, and providing a matte finish that fit the space well.
Members of the community commented that some pieces looked as though they could be paintings or drawings, and were thrilled with the beauty of the wood and the memory of the city that lives on.
Images courtesy of Sharon Gaum-Kuchar