History of the Fernwood Pole Painting Project
The Fernwood Pole Painting Project has helped to slow traffic, curb signature tagging, and create a warm, friendly, and beautiful public environment.
On May 28th 2011, Fernwood NRG, Emily Grav of The Paint Box School of Art and Beth Threlfall coordinated the painting of over 100 telephone poles with bright, bold, colourful designs on Fernwood Road and Gladstone Avenue. Since then, Fernwood NRG has organized the painting of hundreds of telephone poles and touched up poles around the neighbourhood. All the paint used in this project has been salvaged from Hartland Landfill. We have continued to host this project annually since 2011.
Here is a TedX talk by our Executive Director, Lee Herrin, sharing the revitalization of the Cornerstone building and the sense of community painted telephone poles bring to Fernwood’s streets:
“This project brings great depth and soul to our neighbourhood.”
– Beth Threlfall
There has been lots of inquiries, discussion and much praise for this collaborative, community-driven project. Hundreds of volunteers have given their energy, time, and imagination to transform our streets. Other neighbourhoods have started to join in the fun; painted poles are popping up everywhere.
Please have a browse of articles mentioning Pole Painting in the news and abroad:
- On July 8 2012, our neighbourhood made international news, the New York Times. The painted poles were featured in many of the photographs of our neighbourhood.
- The Fernwood Pole Painting Project was voted Favorite Art Event in the 2012 M Awards by Monday Magazine! The project received runner-up in 2013.
- “Painting Project: In Fernwood, heart and soul is transmuted into art on poles” – Times Colonist, May 15, 2012
- “Artwork sprouts on Fernwood’s ‘soul poles’” – Globe & Mail, June 6, 2011
- “Pole painting sweeps Fernwood” – Vic News, May 26, 2011
- “‘Soul poles’ spread throughout Victoria” – Monday Magazine, May 25, 2011
- Moon City Creative District from Springfield, Missouri visited us in 2014. They went home and held their very own Pole Painting Project. See their soul poles here.