Reilly Knowles








Reilly Knowles is an artist and curator raised in Milton on Treaty Fourteen Territory and currently resides in Treaty Six Territory, otherwise known as London, Ontario.

Knowles began his art training with local artists Tatiana Pastor and Fedor Yatsik and was a member of the Fine Arts Society of Milton before relocating to London to attend the University of Western Ontario. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2020 and has held solo shows at Forest City Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Park Community & Cultural Centre, and Spencer Gallery. A member of Good Sport Gallery & Studio, he is currently developing a painting exhibition for the space inspired by Southwestern Ontario witchcraft folklore, to be presented in October 2023.

Knowles is a returning artist to Arts Milton’s Exclusively Inclusive programming, having designed a traffic box mural which appears at Louis St Laurent Avenue and Leger Way. His mural work can also be found in Old East Village in London, where he collaborated with Robin Henry to illustrate hope and renewal for the neighbourhood.

Reilly Knowells ‘s Family at Rest portrays two elderly trans men and their dogs enjoying a moment of relaxation in a flower-filled meadow. The mural seeks to honour the contributions of the trans elders who have paved the way for the rights and dignity that the community enjoys today. These rights continue to be safeguarded against the backdrop of transphobic resistance. The mural also aims to shed light on the often-overlooked queer and non-normative families.


Love is Stronger, the second mural painted by Reilly for Arts Milton. This mural depicts two elder lesbians flying through a stormy sky in motorcycle attire. Their wings symbolize their freedom to love one another and to overcome reductive gender stereotypes. Reilly has so much respect for women who identify with masculinity and who challenge our society’s limited understanding of womanhood. Many of his role models as a budding queer were butch lesbians (and still are, by the way). He is so grateful to his gay elders for fighting to make the world he has the privilege of living in today.

(This Traffic Box is located at Louis St Laurent Ave. and Leger Way / Corner at TD Bank)

Trans Love Traffic Monument takes inspiration from medieval illuminated manuscripts and silkscreen prints to create a multi-faceted painting that appeals to the Milton community to tap into the love already in their hearts for their transgender neighbours. Trans rights have advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, but this has led to a fiery backlash, and a culture war continues to rage as we redefine our understandings of gender and sex in our quest to extend compassion and dignity to transgender and genderqueer individuals. This artwork affirms Milton’s capacity to love their trans community members and utilizes a language of mythology and metaphor to celebrate the trans experience. The two narrow sides of the painting depict figures with masculine and feminine elements, which joyfully exist in the in-between, as transgender people often experience. The front and top faces represent queer embraces, reiterating the artwork’s themes of love, queerness and unity.