Let your creativity shine on a telephone pole on Saturday, September 10, 2016

>> Mila Czemerys

This September, Fernwood NRG will be hosting its sixth Pole Painting Project. Everyone is ­welcome to take part, no matter what age or ­experience level.

Painted telephone poles have become part of the identity of Fernwood. It’s hard to remember how the neighbourhood looked before our telephone poles were painted with artwork. Fortunately, we took some photos before the first event (see above).

Today, Fernwood is decorated with sunflowers, skyscapes, portraits, giraffes, salmon, mermaids, abstract ­compositions, musical notes, dragons, hearts, ­spaceships, and more. These coats of paint ­document a small slice of the personality and imagination of folks that have lived in this place over the past half-decade.

This project has intrigued many from outside the neighbourhood: from ­photos of painted poles in the New York Times, to a group of organizers visiting from ­Springfield, Missouri to paint a pole in Fernwood, to a project in Opelika, ­Alabama (See June 2016 Village Vibe for an article about pole painting in Opelika). Who could have known that a few coats of paint could inspire neighbourhoods across the continent?

If you would like to participate in this exciting project this year, here is how…

  1. Create your design. Draw out your ideas. We also have a How-to video available on our website.
  2. Pick-up a free Pole Painting Kit. These will be available on ­Thursday, August 25th at the Fernwood Night Market in Fernwood Square between 4pm and 8pm. They will also be available outside the Fernwood ­Community Centre (1240 Gladstone Avenue) on Wednesday, September 7th & Thursday, September 8th between noon and 9pm.
  3. Find the pole you’d like to paint. Drop the letter we provide in the kit to the neighbours, making sure they would like the pole painted.
  4. Prime the pole. We recommend ­priming your pole with the base colour on Friday, September 9th. This will allow time for the pole to dry before you paint your design.
  5. Paint! You are invited to paint your telephone pole on Saturday, ­September 10th. Did you know all the paint used in this project has been salvaged from Hartland Landfill?
  6. Clean up. Make sure you clean up all your supplies and keep or dispose of them responsibly. Post your wet paint sign on your finished pole.
  7. Admire your work and show your friends.

Fernwood NRG would love to see ­photos of your work! Send ­photos to ­info@­fernwoodnrg.ca and tag images with #polepaintingproject. Thanks to ­everyone who takes part of this ­neighbourhood-based, volunteer-powered project. To learn more about this project, for tips on design, ­guidelines and inspiration, visit ­fernwoodnrg.ca/event-­directory/fernwood-pole-painting-­project.

If you would prefer a pole to be left blank, you can email us at ­info@­fernwoodnrg.ca and we will send you a sign to post which askes to “Please leave this pole blank”.