Paint a Pride tile for Leigh Square

Artist Steve Baylis needs 50 residents for ‘historic’ artwork in Port Coquitlam.

Port Coquitlam residents can make a valuable mark on the community by taking part in the city’s first Pride public art project.

Registration is now open for residents to join artist Steve Baylis as he leads three painting workshops at Leigh Square Community Arts Village, where the LGBTQ2IA+ installation will be placed this summer.

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The Riverside secondary graduate was picked in January to create the artwork that, when unveiled on Aug. 2, will see 65 concrete tiles — painted in rainbow colours — laid in a pattern around the fountain pool.

As well, Baylis will set a mural — using the colours of the Pride and transgender flags — on the ledge under the seating area around the pool.

Workshops participants must be at least 12 years old to paint the tiles on:

Friday, July 26 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. (#37381)

• Sunday, July 28 from noon to 4 p.m. (#37382)

• or Tuesday, July 30 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. (#37383)

To sign up, visit the city’s website at experienceit.ca; space is limited.

No painting experience is needed and participants should expect to have their clothes stained from the industrial spray paint. Baylis has also made stencils to guide painters with their abstract images on the 1’ x 2’ tiles.

Meanwhile, Baylis is also reaching out to LGBTQ2IA+ groups, schools and resource centres “so that they get the opportunity to access the workshops and be a part of something historic.”

Monday, city crews power washed the tiles to prepare for the Pride Public Art Project; a primer and sealer will be applied before Baylis coats each with a base paint. After the workshops, each tile will have a UV varnish.

PoCo’s Pride Public Art will be one of the first installations in B.C. to celebrate the LGBTQ2IA+ community.

Last year, council budgeted $17,500 for the project, steering away from the usual Pride symbol of a rainbow crosswalk. Coquitlam’s rainbow crosswalk was painted last March, south of city hall, while Port Moody’s landed at NewPort Village last month.

Meanwhile, also on Monday, Burnaby city council unanimously passed a motion by Coun. Dan Johnston, who called for four more Pride crosswalks at prominent intersections — painted in time for Burnaby’s second annual Pride festival in August. 

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