Etymology: From the Ancient Greek οἰκογενής (oikogenḗs, “born in the house”).
Noun: οικογένεια • (oikogéneia) f (plural οικογένειες)
Definition: family, household, kin
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Over the August long weekend, a new mural titled οικογένεια – Greek for family – was painted on the side of Ellas Meat Market located at 674 Pape Ave, just south of the Danforth. The wall was previously the site of an existing mural done over 10 years ago that had faded. The theme of the new mural was in keeping with the greater public art plan for the BIA, featuring traditional Greek motifs in a modern and contemporary way. The mural, by local artist Roland Campbell, depicts Poseidon, God of the Sea, surly waters and crashing waves, The Temple of the Olympians featuring Classical Greek pillars, and more, all in vibrant hues of GreekTown blue.
Our lead artist, Roland Campbell, explains his process and the themes he explores in more detail:
“My name is Roland Campbell, and I am a local east-end Toronto visual artist. I mainly concentrate on aerosol and acrylic mediums. With a combination of studies at Rosedale High School of the Arts and self-taught application, I find inspiration from nature, pop culture, automotive, and architectural design. I love to push the idea of traditional letter graffiti styles and character-based urban arts. Working with Street Art Toronto and Wallnoize over the past couple of years, specifically on the Toronto Water Hoarding Project, I have seen the positive impact of bringing public art into active communities.
Having both lived and worked on the Danforth over the past eight years, I have seen firsthand what community means, getting to know the families and people that make this community so warm and welcoming. Greek pride is incredibly strong and deeply felt in this bright area, and I’d love an opportunity to transfer that pride into an interactive piece of community art. Taking an otherwise bland and dull wall in this high trafficked area of the Danforth will deter further vandalism and I feel will only encourage more building owners to provide their walls to local artists.
In keeping with traditional graffiti lettering styles, I will combine the application of a monochromatic blue, white and grey colour scheme to highlight the colours of the Greek flag. I intend on using strong Greek symbolism such as the Greek key and historical and mythical characters such as Icarus, Athena, Poseidon, Alexander the Great, alongside ancient Greek landscapes and architecture (ancient ruins, pillars, seaside villas) in both realistic and abstract ways. The wall in itself will tell a story with each piece incorporated. My goal with this project is to highlight various artistic styles while showcasing the heritage of the local community.”
FUNDERS & PARTNERS