The transformation of Regent Park has brought new cultural and recreational facilities to the neighbourhood, including the new Community Centre, Aquatic Centre and Daniels Spectrum, an arts and culture hub that has anchored the community. On Friday, within the walls of Daniels Spectrum's vibrant community spaces, a new public art installation was officially launched to the public. 

Looking west towards three of the mounted installations, which hold portraits on each side, image by Marcus Mitanis

Toronto artist Dan Bergeron has captured the essence and character of the neighbourhood's residents by featuring a cross-section of individuals in a piece titled 'Faces of Regent Park'. The permanent installation consists of 12 large laminate glass portraits positioned around the entry plaza to Regent Park on the north side of Dundas Street opposite Daniels Spectrum. 

The east side of the plaza, just adjacent to the Aquatics Centre, image by Marcus Mitanis

Complementing the permanent installation, the second floor of Daniels Spectrum is hosting a studio series that depicts the same 12 residents. On display until June 26, the mixed-media portraits are based on photographs of each subject, with a more colourful expression added on top of the black and white images by the artist. 

"I want to thank the subjects for being involved because they're the ones that make the project," said Dan Bergeron. "I made the art, but without them being generous with their time, sharing their stories and taking a chance on having the confidence in me to depict them the right way, this art wouldn't be here tonight." 

Toronto artist Dan Bergeron speaks about his creations, image by Marcus Mitanis

Crowds gather in the second floor halls of Daniels Spectrum, image by Marcus Mitanis

Bergeron's artwork was selected from a national open competition. You've likely seen his work throughout the city, including on the brick walls of some low-rise Regent Park buildings, which have been plastered with large black and white portraits of residents in a manner not unlike his new piece. 

Jacob Sukhra stands alongside his likeness with artist Dan Bergeron, image by Marcus Mitanis

To stay updated on the discussion of Regent Park, visit the Forum thread. What do you think of the new artwork? Let us know in the thread, or by leaving a comment in the field below. 

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