Locals bid a fiery farewell to the telephone booth art lining Toronto's streets over the last few months. One booth, decorated by women at the Evangeline women's shelter, was set alight by a vandal.
The life-size Superman and Clark Kent paintings adorning other booths were stolen within a day. White sheets draping the so-called “Transformation Booth” were spoilt with black ink, and handmade flowers on another pinched and replaced with two coins.
All booths were part of Tel-Talk, a series of phone booth art installations.
“In a way, it’s to be expected with public art,” said Paola Poletto, one of the curators of the project. “You want to put pieces out there that are provocative enough for people to engage with.”
But the burning of the “booth cozy” made by ladies at the shelter came as a shock. They had put a lot of work into knitting, crocheting, and designing handmade cards with personal quotes. Fortunately, the women fully intend to continue producing public art.
Regardless of the damage done, Poletto has deemed the project a success as it drew attention to the city's old and underused public phones.