There is a little extra colour on the patios of Waterloo Region. Art Fresco has launched at 50 bars, restaurants and eateries across the region, a massive public art project that has placed bespoke picnic tables hand painted by artists on local patios for diners to enjoy and admire.
“The Art Fresco Picnic Tables are unique pieces to inject some colour and vibrancy into a sector that was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Minto Schneider (photo), Chief Executive Officer of Explore Waterloo Region. “Bars and restaurants were forced to close during what would typically be a busy time for them. They need some help to rebound and get back on their feet.”
Conceived and executed by the team at Explore Waterloo Region, the Art Fresco Project started with the sourcing of 50 picnic tables from local company St. Clements Trim Inc. Then a panel of judges (Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery Executive Director and Curator Denis Longchamps, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery Executive Director Shirley Madill and visual artist Susan Coolen) evaluated submissions from interested artists based on concepts that both celebrate Waterloo Region and honour those things that make Waterloo Region unique.
Selected artists created their masterpieces at Lot 42 — an ideal venue that allowed the artists to work on their art while maintaining physical distancing — over a two-week period with paint and supplies graciously provided by Home Hardware head office in St. Jacobs and Beauti-tone Paint.
Among the artists selected were:
Father and son First Nations artists August and Luke Swinson
12-year-old Waterloo artist Maia Lynch.
Andy McGeoch, an established artist from California who has relocated to Waterloo Region.
Kitchener painter and muralist Trisha Abe.
A graphic designer and his 11-year-old daughter each designed tables.
A Beauti-tone paint expert and a graphic designer from Home Hardware.
Muralists, textile artists, illustrators, graphic designers and even an urban planner.