ARAS & CSI’s Collaborative Mural Project with Artist Frannie Potts

Collaborative mural project

Collaborative mural project

In August 2023, Avenue Road Arts School partnered with the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) and artist Frannie Potts to lead an engaging mural project with local youth. Over the span of five days, 11 students ages 10-16 worked alongside Frannie to design and paint a vibrant mural on an interior wall at the CSI Annex in the heart of Toronto.

Avenue Road Arts School strives to connect art and community through collaboration and self expression. CSI is committed to social innovation, community building and sustainability. Organically there was a natural connection between both of the organizations' missions to use creative expression as a way to activate public spaces and bring people together.

Under Frannie's guidance, the students engaged in a creative design process, drawing inspiration from CSI's core values of community, collaboration, social impact and environmental stewardship. They worked together to plan the mural's motifs, colours and meaning. Over the course of the week, Frannie and the youth artists translated their ideas into a finished visual piece now on display in the ground floor lounge of CSI Annex located at 720 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON., M5S 2R4.

The mural celebrates the power of working collectively towards a shared artistic vision. It serves as a reminder of the importance of artistic expression and appreciation for our world. Through their energy and skills in artistry, Frannie and the students helped cultivate a sense of community ownership over this public artwork.

We are grateful for this opportunity to partner with CSI and merge our missions of using arts education to ignite positive change. The Collaborative Mural Project brought art into the community in a way that will be appreciated for years to come.

"The Collaborative Mural Project represents our collective desire to bring people that are working for a better planet together under one roof to engage in creative and productive processes. The purpose of integrating this art into the very middle of our Lounge is to help people drop their self-imposed defenses, open their minds and hands to others, and imagine and illuminate new moods, methods, and ways forward. The important work that our members do shifting and innovating goods, services, markets, policies, and technology is only surpassed by the mural's ability to accelerate changes in the eyes and hearts of those it touches and surprises."

Gonzalo Duarte
Director, Coworking Design & Operations

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About the artist

We are very fortunate to work with Frannie Potts, a mural artist and workshop facilitator based in the GTA who uses her colourful, imaginative style to engage public places and bring communities together through art in everyday settings.

For over a decade, Frannie has designed dozens of large-scale public artworks across the city. From portraits to surreal scenes on walls, buildings and sculptural designs, Frannie's murals balance impactful visual narratives with eye catching, vivid hues and surprising details.

As the co-founder of Scarbrite, a Scarborough-based collective, Frannie continuously works towards social impact through art for the greater community. Frannie finds creativity and togetherness have a reciprocal relationship that uplifts all involved.

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Center for Social Innovation

As leaders in social innovation, CSI sought to visually express their values with a vibrant new mural at their Annex location. CSI recognizes the intrinsic link between creativity and positive social change. Working closely with Gonzalo, the Director of Coworking Design & Operations, who provided endless support and creative feedback, Frannie Potts and ARAS’s youth students were able to produce something truly beautiful and meaningful. As the CSI team envisioned, the mural now serves as a constant reminder of creativity's power to unite and drive meaningful change.
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