Street Art Wall
About the Project
The City of Kingston Street Art Wall is a pilot project, approved by Council in March 2019 (Report ARCP 19-003) that establishes the Rideaucrest retaining wall adjacent to Douglas Fluhrer Park as a legal wall available for use by the community to create street art and murals. The Street Art Wall responds to the City's Public Art Master Plan in support of temporary public art, street art and public art to promote diverse cultural expression in a variety of mediums in civic spaces, places and neighbourhoods. The project aims to offer a new platform for artistic expression and support the creation of street art in Kingston.
The Street Art Wall is free and open to all residents and artists of Kingston. The Wall is open July 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020 during daylight hours, 7 days a week. The Rideaucrest retaining wall adjacent to Douglas Fluhrer Park is located at the end of Wellington Street (closest intersection is Wellington Street and Bay Street).
For the duration of this pilot project, the City of Kingston has waived Section 4.17 of Property Standards Bylaw as it pertains to the retaining wall adjacent to Douglas Fluhrer Park. The section states:
Written slogans and graffiti on the exterior of any building, wall, fence or structure shall be prohibited, including painted or chalked titles or messages.
The Guidelines for the Street Art Wall include rules of participation, information about acceptable content, paints and painting and processes to ensure the proper disposal of paints.
Participants are encouraged to document their artwork and share on social media platforms using the hashtag #YGKStreetArtWall.
See if yours is listed below. If not, get in touch with the City at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to receive the City's Public Art E-Newsletter to be notified of public art news, events, and calls for artist submissions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "legal wall"?
A legal wall, otherwise known as a "free space" is an area where street art, graffiti art and murals are permitted and encouraged. Legal walls can be found around the world and are sanctioned spaces that offer a unique public canvas to artists. To establish the Street Art Wall in Kingston, the City has waived Section 4.17 of the Property Standards Bylaw 2005-100 that states "written slogans and graffiti on the exterior of any building, wall, fence or structure shall be prohibited, including painted or chalked titles or messages." This waiver applies only to the retaining wall and Section 4.17 of the Property Standards Bylaw 2005-100 remains in effect for the rest of the city.
How does the City define street art?
Street Art is an urban style of temporary public art that can include murals or graffiti art that is created on walls, sidewalks and roadways that is sanctioned and permitted. This is distinct from Graffiti which is not sanctioned or permitted and is a form of vandalism.
Who is allowed to use the Street Art Wall?
The Wall is free and open to all artists of all skill levels.
What paints can I use on the Street Art Wall?
Participants must supply their own paint, supplies and water. Only standard paints are allowed for use on the Street Art Wall, which include:
- Aerosols and spray paints
- Acrylic or latex-based paints
- Exterior grade paints
- Paint markers
Participants may use brushes, sponges, rollers and other methods of painting on the Street Art Wall
Where can I dispose of my paints and supplies?
There are no additional waste receptacles available on-site at Douglas Fluhrer Park for the disposal of paints and supplies. Participants must remove all of their supplies including all waste from the park and disposing of any paints or supplies in park garbage cans or dumping of dirty water into the waterway or on park property is strictly prohibited.
Participants are encouraged to follow proper paint disposal procedures and bring all paint waste to the City's Households Hazardous Waste Facility located at 196 Lappan's Lane.
What paints are NOT allowed on the Street Art Wall?
The following paints and materials are prohibited from being used on the Street Art Wall:
- Lead-based paints
- Oil-based paints
- No 3-D or sculptural elements may be affixed to wall
- No physical or structural alterations may be made to the wall, including drilling, gluing or chipping
What if my mural or artwork gets painted over?
Murals and artwork may get painted over by other artists. We encourage all participants to take photographs of their works in progress and completed works. The Street Art Wall is a shared community resource with limited space for artists. When possible, paint over older murals before painting over freshly painted works.
Is there content that is not allowed on the Street Art Wall?
The Street Art Wall provides an open space for artistic expression. In order to ensure the integrity of the project, the City will only remove or cover any marking or painting made on the Street Art Wall based on the following:
- Was made in a place or area on the wall where painting is not expressly permitted by the City;
- Is gang or crime related;
- May incite hatred or violence against any person or identifiable group of persons;
- May promote stereotypes or negative attitudes about any person or identifiable group of persons on a ground protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code;
- Contains profane, vulgar or offensive language, or;
- Depicts violence or explicit sexual content.
Can anything be painted on the wall?
Murals, street art, graffiti art, tagging and painting are allowed on the Street Art Wall. The Street Art Wall is intended for users of all experience levels and experimentation is encouraged.
Who takes care of the wall and the artwork?
The Street Art Wall is self-regulated and managed by the community. The City maintains the park and ensures that all content painted on the wall adheres to the established guidelines. No additional maintenance will be done to the wall or artworks.
What safeguards are in place to protect the park's environment?
The Street Art Wall and Douglas Fluhrer Park are being monitored by City staff on a regular basis to ensure that the guidelines are being followed and that the park is being maintained.
How do legal walls help to deter illegal graffiti?
Legal Walls can help to deter illegal graffiti by providing a platform and space for the creation of art. In some cases, the areas around legal walls get painted by illegal graffiti. City staff will be monitoring the use of the legal wall and the surrounding areas for any illegal graffiti.
Is the City planning to open any other street art legal walls in Kingston?
Following the conclusion of the pilot project, City staff will report back to Council on the results, which will also be used to assess the need to develop an Integrated Street Art Plan as a component of the City of Kingston's Public Art Master Plan that supports street art and mural projects throughout the city. This could include the creation of new Street Art Walls or establishing the Rideaucrest retaining wall as a permanent, year-round legal wall.
February 2019Report to ARCP Committee recommending implementation of pilot project
March 2019Council approves pilot project
April 2019Development of project guidelines and procedures
May 2019Internal and external meetings with stakeholders
July 1, 2019Opening of Street Art Legal Wall
July 2019Communications and outreach
July 2019 - April 2020Monitoring, documentation and evaluation of pilot project
April 30, 2020Pilot project ends
June 2020Report to Council