Contributed by Rui Felix
Meet Poonam Sharma, an artist and resident of the St. James Town community. Working with Community Matters Toronto, Poonam is part of an exciting effort building a new urban park that will foster healthy outdoor activities and connect residents from the high-rise community.
We met with Poonam to discuss her recently completed Folklore Art Project, which brought new immigrant folk artists together.
Q – “What is the concept for your art mural?”
A – “I designed this concept as a river, each element has a different type of folk art. It represents where all of us are from, we are unique, we are flowing together, and we are living together, within ourselves.”
Q – “What has the community feedback been?”
A – “I will say this area is getting alive. Many of them come out and sit in the evening just to have a look at our work, and it’s therapy for me, for the artists and for who is watching. There’s one beautiful story, when we were working a person came, he was on a wheelchair, he said ‘ohhh, I didn’t realize you had another wall here. I never saw that! I’m watching you guys daily for the last 10 days from my balcony. I come down very rarely. So I really wanted to come and see from near how it looks like.’
“We felt so good that I was in tears. Someone is actually connected even through balconies.”
Keep up the great work Poonam!