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Outside the Box: Artists Stage 30 "Planter Interventions" Across Toronto

Toronto's crumbling planter boxes have gotten a lot more interesting, thanks to Sean Martindale and a small army of artists and gardeners.

Public planter boxes are great in theory. They're a refuge for nature in the city. A way of cleaning our air and beautifying our streets. But in practice, many public planters are untended or empty, too big or too small for the plants they're meant to contain, or simply falling apart.


Last month, Sean Martindale decided to do something about it in his home city of Toronto. With a grant from the arts organization Toronto FEAST, Martindale organized a project called Outside the Planter Boxes. He rounded up a group of local “artists, designers, gardeners and urbanites” to execute “planter interventions” in sites across the city. In the end, 17 participants made more than 30 projects in a single 24-hour period during the weekend of May 20.

Karen Abel turned the Pabst Blue Ribbon boxes sitting in one planter into gorgeous paper flowers.

Martin Reis repaired the crumbling concrete wall of another with Legos.

Martindale himself created a surreal cascade of grass spilling out onto the street.

You can see photo sets from all of the works here.

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