St. James Town community artist

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!

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