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Barton Bright / Barton Night

Gram + Laura

The fascinating and varied history of the Barton street neighborhood has left a different imprint on the generations of Hamiltonions over the past century. While some remember the vibrant commercial district and the lively street life; the period of economic downturn has left many with a feeling of distrust and dismissal of Barton. While the neighborhood is undergoing an invigorated period of revitalization, we have found via conversations with individuals all over the city through our business Bright Side General that many feel Barton street is a place to avoid in the night. As residents of Barton street we can say that the night life of Barton street is quirky, fascinating, creative, and vibrant.


As you walk the street you find that night-time business is slowly returning to the area with amazing offerings like Mosaic, Maipai, the Playhouse, and others sure to follow soon. Late night pizza, Korean eats, and other delicious snacks dot the line from James to Lottridge. You will experience fascinating works of contemporary graffiti layered on top of vibrant historical signage and unique architecture in a way unparalleled in southern Ontario. While you wander an adorable host of friendly cats will stride to meet you as you explore the hidden alleyways and find the secret murals behind Sam’s tavern. Barton Street, while at times a bit daunting, can be a magical place at nighttime.


With Barton Light, Barton Night we seek to encourage individuals to visit the neighborhood at different times of day to experience the many facets of Barton Street. Through social engineering, and a timed event (the transitionary state of the artwork between daytime mode and nighttime mode) we encourage a ritual visitation of people to Barton that might otherwise avoid going there at night. Our piece also hopes to create a visually engaging backdrop for social media content to encourage individuals to build their own relationship with the street. We hope people will form their own opinions about the current state of the neighborhood, it’s past, and what it could become in the future.

Laura Smith is an independent curator and artist with a Bachelors Degree in Visual Arts focusing in digital illustration and large scale painting. Founder of Bright Side General, a small business offering handcrafted goods based in Hamilton, ON.

Gram Schmaltz is the Artist / Creative Director of Laundry Line Studio - brand consultant and digital agency. An installation artist with a passion for social elaboration, kinetic sculpture, interactive works, and collaborative experiences.

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669 Barton St. E

The ‘Anything is Possible on Barton’ exhibition is a neighbourhood wide art project that was selected for the Government of Canada’s My Main Street Community Activator program. This project is organized by the Barton Village BIA and funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the City of Hamilton. Thank you to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the Canadian Urban Institute for supporting local communities and revitalizing our main streets.


Please check out the other 14 installations HERE.

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