Queen and Pape just got a whole lot prettier. If you've been walking Queen East recently, you've no doubt noticed the vibrant new mural splashed onto the west side wall of Cask Music.
The mural is a two-parter, commisioned by Cask Music and painted by local artist Jimmy Chiale. On the left is a stylized portrait of legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, and on the right is an electrifying, multicoloured abstract section.
The wall — about 30 feet long by 12 feet high — has already made a lasting positive mark on an otherwise bleak intersection. Steve Witt, owner of Cask Music, says increased business from the improved visibility certainly won't hurt, but the mural was more about reflecting the shop's identity at Queen and Pape.
"From the west, we had a large blank brown — and frankly, very ugly — wall until this month," Witt says. "Travelling from that direction, the whole corner is pretty busy and I felt Cask was getting lost in the noise. We simultaneously repainted the front of the store from dusty old black paint job to a pretty friendly blue. The two jobs really brightened up the whole building and I think they've turned more than a few heads."
Witt says the shop worked with a couple of artists in getting a theme together for the mural. Ideas were discussed and sketched out with different images occupying various sections of the wall.
"In the end, Jimmy was able to conceive and complete a full piece, which kept a consistent style across the whole wall," he says. "I'm very happy we ended up with one talented artist."
If you haven't already, head down to Cask Music at 1054 Queen St. E to check out this fantastic new piece of community art. Dare we say, most Instagrammable place in Leslieville?