OCAD students begin decorating the entertainment district

OCAD illustration students are adding an artistic flair to John Street, using spray paint to decorate Adirondack chairs lining the street.

Spray painted Adirondack chairs will line John Street until the fall

Boen Jiang working on a chair that is soon to be a different colour. (Jennifer Gosnell/CBC)

OCAD illustration students are adding an artistic flair to the city's entertainment district, using spray paint to decorate Adirondack chairs lining the neighbourhood. 

"The theme is John Street," said Sophie Paas-Iang, a fourth year OCAD illustration student.

She and her classmate, Boen Jiang, both get 10 chairs and the task to do with them what they will. 

"I'm trying to use the architecture and the entertainment feeling to create the feeling of the neighbourhood," said Jiang.

Paas-lang is focused more on the textile aspect.

"I'm taking patterns and textures from the area and making it about the theme of the street," Paas-lang said.

The two started their work on the chairs on Tuesday and expect they will finish by the weekend.

All of their spray painting and design work is being done while pedestrians pass by at John and Richmond St., sheltered only by a thin tent.

The project is a joint initiative of OCAD and the Toronto Entertainment District.

Last year was the first time this project was rolled out. They are refreshing the chairs' looks this year with graphic illustrations by Paas-lang and Jiang and adding to the brightly-designed chairs by including vinyl floor murals to be created by another OCAD classmate.

Both Jiang and Paas-lang were surprised at having such hands-on roles in the project.

"Both Boen and I were very confused when we got this job because we both work digitally. We work with Illustrator, Photoshop and stuff like that," said Paas-lang.

Jiang and Paas-lang opted for spray paint to achieve a graphic style to their designs — clean lines, bright colours and the ability to cover a lot of surface area.

The street art will be along John Street until the end of the Toronto Film Festival in the fall.