Artist Perspective by Pino Cao, Honouring Mississauga

The Artist's Perspective, written by Pino Cao. Pino Cao is a Toronto based artist focusing on children’s book illustrations. For as long as she can remember, Pino has had a fascination with art and design. Having grown up in an engineering family, she followed her family path and became a civil engineer. However, her passion for art never faded away and art is what she decided her lifelong career should be…..

As a Mississauga resident and artist, I am honoured to collaborate with the City of Mississauga on the light pole banners design for this year. My art is inspired by the city’s diverse and vibrant culture, and I hope to share it with the public through these banners. The word “Mississauga” consists of six different letters, which led me to create six banners based on them. They are “M”, “I”, “S”, “A”, “U”, and “G”. These letters also spell out six words that capture the characteristic of Mississauga: “M - Modern”, “I - International”, “S - Safe”, “A - Artistic”, “U - United” and “G - Graceful”. 

Each banner features one of these words as the theme, along with a complementary colour scheme to make the main object stand out and be easily visible from a distance. The background of each banner also showcases the word in different languages, representing the cultural diversity of the city. These languages are “Modern” in Mandarin (Simplified Chinese), “International” in Urdu, “Safe” in French, “Artistic” in Polish, “United” in Arabic, and “Graceful” in Punjabi. These are the most widely spoken languages in the city beside English. Below, I will describe the design process and the meaning behind each banner.


The first banner showcases the word “Modern” and the city’s impressive architecture and development. The letter “M” is shaped like a road, featuring some of the most iconic buildings of the city including the Absolute World Towers, the Mississauga Civic Centre, M city, the Square One Shopping Centre, etc. The background displays the word “Modern” in Mandarin, which is “现代”.


The second banner highlights the word “International” and the city’s global connectivity and diversity. The letter “I” is shaped like the Pearson International Airport terminal, which is one of the largest airports in Ontario, Canada and is located in Mississauga. The airport brings a lot of job opportunities and international business to the city, as well as connecting it to the rest of the world. The background displays the word “International” in Urdu, which is “بین الاقوامی”.


The third banner features the word “Safe” and the city’s liveability and comfort. The letter “S” is shaped like a community road, featuring a typical neighbourhood in Mississauga. The warm colour composition shows the quietness and safety of the neighbourhood, as well as a sense of belonging and security. The background displays the word “Safe” in French, which is “Sûr”.


The fourth banner celebrates the word “Artistic” and the city’s rich and diverse arts and culture. The letter “A” is shaped like an easel, holding a painting of the Living Arts Centre of Mississauga. The Living Arts Centre is a hub for exhibitions, events and performing arts, showcasing the city’s talent and creativity. The painting uses bright and vibrant colours to reflect the energy and spirit of the city. The background displays the word “Artistic” in Polish, which is “Artystyczny”.


The fifth banner highlights the word “United” and the city’s solidarity and harmony. The letter “U” is formed of different faces in different colours, representing the people of Mississauga. The people come from different backgrounds, ages, genders, and ethnicities, but they are all united by their love for the city. The background shows people holding hands, symbolising the community’s support and care for each other. The background also shows the word “United” in Arabic, which is “متحد”.


The sixth and final banner showcases the word “Graceful” and the city’s natural beauty and elegance. The letter “G” forms a road, featuring the beautiful landscaping on Burnhamthorpe Road. Burnhamthorpe Road is one of the main roads in Mississauga, connecting different parts of the city. The road’s landscaping creates a natural and pleasant environment for the city. The background shows the word “Graceful” in Punjabi, which is “ਸੁਹਾਵਣਾ”. For more information please visit the public art page on City of Mississauga website

This was a wonderful opportunity for me to explore different art styles and express my love for public art. It allows me to share my artworks with the public and bring some unique features to the community. My next goal is to create a large-scale mural art.

All photos are taken by Tori Lambermont.

- Pino Cao

If you’d like more info, please contact: [email protected]

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