The Rooster of Barcelos Project will be located in Little Portugal At Dundas West & Lakeview Ave (1212 Dundas St. W, at the Lakeview Ave Parkette). For ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022, a rooster statue has been gifted by the Municipality of Barcelos, Portugal to the City of Toronto to be designed, painted and displayed in Little Portugal, Toronto. This concrete statue (2.8 m. X 1.9 m.) is being reimagined by an Artist whose design best fit the guiding themes of (i) the universal meaning of the rooster as a symbol of the sun, and (ii) the historical legend of the “Galo de Barcelos” or the Barcelos Rooster.
The Barcelos Rooster, commonly called the Portuguese Rooster, is said to be the embodiment of the Portuguese love of life. It is an unofficial symbol of Portugal found throughout Portugal in town squares, art work and souvenir trinkets. The Rooster stands for pride, hope, a new day, fertility, resurrection and as well as other cultural meanings.
Design Artist Selected
7.12.21 – 8.12.21
Artist Work in Progress
Painted Sculpture Unveiling
The Rooster Advisory Committee is pleased to announce that the selected finalist for the Little Portugal Barcelos Rooster Project is JULIA PRAJZA.
Julia Prajza is a Muralist, Lettering Artist, and Designer based in Toronto. As an OCAD University graduate, with experience as an Art Director and Graphic Designer, she has now returned to her first love: the art of drawing and painting. Bringing her design expertise and graphic style to her work, Julia often focuses on text-based imagery. Creating intrigue with ornate details, vibrant colours, and a whimsical style, she aims to bring more joy and positivity into our everyday lives. With her lively spirit, Julia is emerging into the public and community-engaged art world because she strongly believes in the power of art and its ability to help improve our mental health and cultivate human connection.
About Julia's design
“So for my design, this was originally based on the theme of ‘new beginnings, hope, and optimism’, and I wanted to create something that would truly honour the rich culture of the Portuguese people. And so I created this modern-meets-traditional design. I used these really vibrant colours that would celebrate the energy of the Rooster itself, in order to emanate from the sculpture for locals and visitors alike.
“On the shape of the Rooster itself, I created these bold, organic, playful pieces that would fit together like illuminated stained glass work. The patterns that live within these shapes, they’re kind of my abstract interpretation of Portuguese folk art embroidery, with a whimsical twist in there. Also inspired by my travels to Portugal in 2013, I’ve used these contrasting colours of yellows and blues that dance together in a lovely harmony, representing the everlasting sunshine and sparkling blue waters of the landscape.
And with these details, I kind of hope that people will appreciate them the closer they come to look at the sculpture and act as hidden gems for people to discover that makes public art so exciting. And I hope to bring this playful, positive representation of Little Portugal to life and really reflect on the importance of the Rooster.” – Julia Prajza
We thank all of the Artists who dedicated their thoughtfulness and creativity to this important community art installation. We treasure all of your designs, and hope that we can work together again in the future.
We also would like to thank our gifted Advisory Committee:
Daniel Faria, Daniel Faria Gallery; Jeff Hoedeman, Lakeview Avenue Residents Association; Danielle Hyde; AnaBela Taborda, IC Savings, LPD BIA Chair; Rita Sousa Tavares, Consulate of Portugal in Toronto, Cultural Attaché and Vitor Santos, President of The Barcelos Migrant Association.
Learn About the Top 5 Artist Designs
Christiano De Araújo
You can still stop by IC Savings at 1168 Dundas St. West to view all five Top Designs for Little Portugal Barcelos Rooster Project.