Queen’s & local artists create mural dedicated to Kingston

CBC-commissioned piece promotes inclusivity

Constance Intounas and Francisco Corbett unveiled their work at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.
Supplied by Constance Intounas

Back in March, CBC Ottawa partnered with the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) to create a mural promoting inclusivity. They commissioned two local artists, Francisco Corbett and Constance Intounas, ConEd '23, to complete the project. 

Intounas has previously worked with CBC. She and Corbett are a part of the arts collective ForWorld Studios.

“[CBC] contacted me again, and they were like ‘Hey, we love your artwork, and we love Fran’s artwork, and we see that you’re in a collective together, would you be down to collaborate and create a big piece?’” Intounas said in an interview with The Journal. 

The pair were eager to collaborate on the piece and incorporate both of their styles. Speaking to the composition of the mural, Intounas drew on Corbett’s past artwork that focuses on dogs when striving to make the painting inclusive for everyone.

“I thought it’d be a good idea to incorporate Fran’s old artwork into this by using dogs,” she said. 

“They’re not a specific gender, they’re not of any specific background. We’re just living beings and we’re all able have shared experiences. The thing we all have in common is the shared mutual space, and the things we’re able to do as a community.”

Intounas hopes the KFPL mural will inspire a sense of community within the public space and connect those who share the library. By bypassing conformities like gender, she believes it’s a piece everyone can find relatable. 

The mural and its unveiling event were also massive artistic achievements for Intounas. 

“I’ve never had an event dedicated to one [piece of] artwork,” she said. 

“Then we were able to do the talk in front of everyone, my family came to see me. It was a big achievement for me and Fran. It was the biggest thing I’ve done in my artist career.”

Corbett said the mutual respect he and Intounas have for each other’s styles made the mural easy to complete despite all the press and expectations. 

“It was a really shared vision. I think we really shared an identical image of what it was gonna look like […] it was very fluid, very easy to move throughout the whole thing.”

The pair wanted to present an inclusive vision of Kingston in the painting, presenting recognizable landmarks with pops of colour.

“People who are visiting the library might be tourists, they might be kids who are getting to know their city […] it’s equally accessible as it is very inviting,” Corbett said. 

The mural, which is also Corbett’s biggest project to date, changed how he views himself as an artist. He looks forward to kids growing up and seeing the painting in their community, hoping that it will inspire them to pursue their own creativity. 

“I used to go to that library when I was a kid […] I want it to be there forever, I want kids to see it and really love it.”

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