We are proud and honoured to have world renowned street artist Shepard Fairey pick Gladstone hotel as the canvas for his gift to Toronto. Art should not be contained to art galleries but instead it should be present in the public arena. As such, Gladstone Hotel in partnership with the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto program (otherwise known as StART) are proud to have Fairey and his team create an art installation on the back of our hotel. The installation is called the ‘Peace Bomber’ and is part of Fairey and OBEY’s World Mural Tour where the team has installed another mural above Tattoo in Toronto.
We invited the kids from Oasis Skateboard Factory (OSF), an alternative school design program in which students earn high school credits by creating their own brand and running a skateboard business, down to meet Fairey – a hero for many of the young artists. The OSF students have held two previous exhibitions at the Gladstone Hotel, with lasts years exhibition titled Generation Grind.
Born in South Carolina, Fairey began his career within the skateboarding scene, designing boards and T-shirts. Today he was a source of inspiration for the students from OSF when he opened up about his career as a street artist, describing his continual persistence to succeed. Fairey found fame with his “Obey Giant” sticker campaign and is best know for his unofficial Barack Obama 2008 campaign poster that has been hailed by New Yorkers art critic Peter Schjeldahi as “the most efficacious American political illustration since ‘Uncle Sam Wants You’.”
We’ll summarize the day with a quote overheard from one of the OSF students saying “Oh my god, I just met Shepard Fairy and I get a high school credit for this. Awesome!”.