Toronto Digital Imaging helps community initiative bring art to the streets.
Public-transportation vehicles can lack artistic appeal while being covered in little more than strategic marketing messages vying for consumer attention – at least that’s the general consensus of Arts Etobicoke and Lakeshore Arts, two Canadian
community arts organizations.
Seeing these vehicles as “moving canvasses” rather than a pure advertising medium, the organizations teamed up to develop a three-year initiative – the aptly named Art on the Move.
The initiative basically works like this: Art on the Move partners with local artists who, in turn, mentor community groups to create art that is then morphed into vehicle wraps for private, public, and nonprofit sector vehicles.
To print the wraps, Art on the Move works with print provider Toronto Digital Imaging (TDI, tdi-imaging.com). “I contacted Dave Boye from TDI, set up a meeting with him, and discussed our three-year project,” says Graham Curry, Art on the Move
The result? “Local vehicles are wrapped in art instead of advertising, bringing art directly to communities in a non-elitist and grassroots manner, increasing the accessibility, appreciation, and support of the arts,” says Curry.
The 2010 edition of the Art on the Move project – which took place late last summer – included five teams, four vehicles, and one sailboat (which was the only project painted, not wrapped). Each team paired a paid, local artist with a community organization, with each team being assigned a vehicle.
Together, the artist, community organization, and the vehicle owner worked to create their specific vehicle-wrap work of art. TDI output all wraps using a 5-meter HP Scitex XL Jet Premium printer with HP Scitex XL300 Supreme Ink onto 48-inch tiles of 3M vinyl. Each job took approximately an hour to print, with an additional hour of lamination time, using a Seal laminator with Valspar AquaGuard liquid laminate; install time was six hours total for the four wraps.
Although the shop’s job was smooth sailing during the process – neither the print nor install team faced any extraordinary challenges for any wrap, says Boye – the community artists had a more difficult time.
“Some of the artists have some graphic-design knowledge, but many do not. When it comes time to translate all artwork into digital designs that will be printed in large-format fleet graphics, we have found this technical process to be difficult for most of our artists. We have relied on TDI’s prepress department to assist in the process,” says Curry.
During the 2011 project – which takes place this summer – five new teams will work to create five additional “works of art on wheels.” With the success of the community art initiative, Art on the Move hopes to keep the project on the road.