The Buzz on Queen

Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Riverside Pollinator Mural, 2016
Located: 777 Queen Street East
Artist: Nick Sweetman
Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Nick Sweetman is a graduate of OCAD’s Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design program and holds a certificate in the Mural Routes Leadership Training in Mural-Making program. He’s comfortable working in a variety of media including acrylic, oil and aerosol paints. While his main focus is on painting, Nick has taken to exploring photography and video, installation and mixed media.

A prolific street artist, Sweetman has contributed to a wide variety of public art installations throughout the city, working as a solo artist or as part of a collective. He actively works with non-profit organizations like The Patch Project for community art projects and events as well as part of StARToronto’s Out of the Box and Underpass Program (StART UP).

Sweetman’s murals are bright and whimsical, often drawing inspiration from the natural world and reflecting a concern for the environment. He states that, through his art, “he hopes to encourage consideration of our relationship with the planet and its non-human inhabitants.” Recently this has lead to his interest in bee conservation. Sweet has created several works to publicize the threat to the bee populations including an Out of the Box installation (corner of High Park and Parkside) and a mural on Bloor St. commissioned by Burt’s Bees as part of this year’s National Pollinator Week celebrations.

“Bee extinction is close enough now where it’s not just something you can pretend isn’t going to happen during our lifetime,” he states in a recent Toronto Star interview promoting his Bloor Street installation, “You have to assume that it’s something very real and something that we all need to take seriously”.

So where does this fascination with apiology lead Sweetman? Back to Queens Street.


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