by Alan Li
Since 2016, Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) has hosted an annual Ravine Symposium which brings together urban planners, scientists, researchers and communities to discuss the conservation initiatives happening in these wild spaces.
Feedback from symposium guests mentioned that an artistic perspective would be welcome, and that led to a conversation between myself and TBG’s Director of Education, Colleen Cirillo. Colleen wanted to know if I would be interested in creating ravine inspired art pieces for the event.
While I had already been leading sketching classes into the ravine at TBG, I knew that taking on such a complex landscape by myself would have overwhelmed me. For such a project to be successful, what I needed was help. I considered how Citizen Science Projects mobilize the public and reckoned that the same approach would work with artists. Fortunately, I’ve had many talented people participate in my art workshops, so I was able to recruit eight volunteers and the League of Urban Nature Artists (LUNA) was born!
LUNA’s ravine art project will wrap up on Thursday October 10th which is the date of the next Ravine Symposium. Until then, LUNA will be out in the Wilket Creek Ravine making art and leading free Sketching Tours to raise awareness of this fragile ecosystem. This blog will chronicle our progress and feature a steady stream of articles that bring together ravines, conservation and creativity.
Enjoy the ravines.