“A Day in the Life” with Toronto creative Bareket Kezwer

Bareket Kezwer is one of Toronto’s most colourfully optimistic and ambitious working artists. From Parkdale to Bali and back again, Bareket’s signature rainbow geometry and point perfect typography is truly universal in its influence, audience and demand.

She works with organizations as influential as Facebook, the New Yorker, Baycrest and Sunnybrook Hospital to create large-scale murals in public and private spaces that are as delightful on a sensory level as they are spiritually uplifting. Her work can be seen on office buildings, shipping containers, alleyways, garage doors, sidewalks, utility boxes and backyards all around the city and she frequently collaborates with Toronto’s most revered street artists like Jacquie Comrie and Adrian Hayles.

Behind the scenes, Bareket is an exceptionally gifted social entrepreneur and project manager. She is the creator and producer of Women Paint, a yearly mural jam that grows exponentially in scope, complexity and sponsorship each year and is a founding member of Neighborhood Love, a community-based collective of artists that recently produced a series of uplifting murals across South Etobicoke.

She’s also an awesome partner and furmom to Chloe the dog and Ceecee the cat.

Written by her husband, Corey Caplan

I painted this mural in April 2020 down the street from our new home. This phrase continues to be a guiding mantra during the pandemic.
Bareket Kezwer
In the early months of the pandemic, I was included in a group of artists who painted murals as part of a “Front Line Heroes” project organized by StreetARToronto. There’s an awesome video about the project here.
bareket kezwer
This summer, I co-facilitated the second edition of Girls Mural Camp with Monica Wickeler with the support of East End Arts. Especially during the pandemic, supporting the creative exploration and connection of youth through arts is a healing activity. There’s an awesome video about the project here.
bareket kezwer
This fall, I collaborated with Natalie Very B, Julia Prajza, and Julii McMillan to found the Neighbourhood Love initiative. With assistance from Amanda Lederle, I painted this double garage door on a pretty chilly day. You can read more about the initiative and see all 25 murals that were painted on our website.
Whenever I travel, I try to connect with locals and find opportunities to paint. I found myself in Melbourne in January 2020 and painted this small piece in response to the wildfires.
Facilitating intergenerational murals is a passion of mine—art is both empowering and a powerful container for knowledge sharing and community building. I had the privilege of supporting this group design and paint this mural in the summer of 2019 as part of Women Paint.
It was wonderful to celebrate the completion of the Women Paint 2019 with partners StreetARToronto, Arts Etobicoke, Cultural Hotspot, Mural Routes & STEPS initiative as well as many of the participating artists and community members.
In 2019 I painted this mural at Stackt Market. The “keep going” message has become a gift that keeps on giving—the mural has connected me with many folks online sharing their inspirations stories of strength and resilience.

Which ‘hood are you in?

I lived in Parkdale for many years and recently moved to the Junction.

What do you do?

I am a muralist, community engaged artist, curator, cultural producer, creative director, and graphic designer. My work is motivated by a desire to spread joy, cultivate gratitude, celebrate the power of kindness and compassion and support the growth of inclusive and connected communities. I program and facilitate projects that empower people through creative engagement and increase representation of Toronto’s diverse population.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished producing a series of text based murals with StrollTO and co facilitating an online winter mural camp for teens. I’m currently designing an 90ft x 30ft graphic for a condominium in San Diego, curating a mural installation that will be painted on Lansdowne Ave in summer 2021, site hunting for a location for Women Paint, exploring what the future of Neighbourhood Love will be with my co-founders, and learning stop-motion animation for community art project with the STEPS initiative. I’m also planning my garden for the summer.

Where can we find your work?

All over the city of Toronto. I recommend visiting the three Women Paint sites at Lansdowne & Queen, Dundas & McCaul and Finch Avenue between Kipling & Islington. My favourite rainbows I’ve painted that are still up are at Stackt Market, Fudger House, in the parking lot at 101 Eglinton Ave East, 401 Richmond and on the side of Hollandaise Diner.

I’m hoping to make a mural map of all my work — stay tuned! You can follow my adventures on instagram and on my website. 

 

 

About Joel Levy 2098 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography