Ray Vidal, 2020
This project is interesting to me because my childhood memories were made in Mississauga. I was born in Toronto but grew up in Mississauga Valley close to Hurontario and Dundas. This area, also known as highways 5 and 10, is where I came of age playing music and where I met my musician friends and bandmates. We even dedicated our band name after the area, calling ourselves The Five and Tens.
I was exposed to the arts community in Mississauga through music and made many art connections and friends in the Cooksville and Living Arts Centre area through the music and skateboarding community and arts organizations like VAM and the Mississauga Arts Council. They all helped encourage and nurture my practice and helped shape what I am today. This was not only the start of my musical career but also of my visual art practice.
The context of this project is important to me because it is the birthplace of my creative endeavours. I want to pay homage to my humble beginnings by mapping out the area where I started. This is a dedication to all my peers, local businesses, friends and family that have supported and continue to support my art and music.
This is my own visual gratitude and personal connection to this neighbourhood. I want to capture the essence of what makes this area special to me in hopes of inviting viewers to explore, learn and discover something new about what makes Cooksville so special, diverse and unique.
My map represents the Cooksville area, approximately between Dundas and Hurontario and Jaguar Valley.
During this pandemic, I’ve been reflecting on local Mom-and-Pop businesses and how it is important to support local independent shops during these unprecedented times. Cooksville is filled with many family owned small businesses and it is super important to support them and keep their legacy alive.
My digital illustration reflects on the diverse restaurants, shops, skateboard community, art and music scene in Cooksville and encourages people to visit the neighbourhood in the future and help promote Cooksville businesses, artists, and musicians.
Ray Vidal is a multi-disciplinary fine artist, muralist, musician and educator based in the GTA. He is passionate about bringing people together through art, music, education, mentorship, workshops, and community programming. Currently, he focuses on large-scale murals, commissioned base work and teaching community programs and workshops for children and youth.
He has also recorded two full-length albums and a small EP with his Marty nominated band, The Five and Tens. He currently continues to work on his music and perform all over the GTA, engage in public art and teach programs with Visual Arts Mississauga (VAM) and the Queen Elizabeth Parkway Community and Culture Centre.