What started as a project to explore Sudbury through photography has expanded its scope to a larger canvas.
We Live Up Here, the project that released a book of the same name last year that featured photos from around Sudbury, has started an online crowdfunding campaign to fund three murals that will celebrate different aspects of Sudbury’s culture.
The project’s founders, Christian Pelletier and Andrew Knapp, want to raise $5,000 to pay for the materials and labour required to create the three murals. To encourage people to donate they have created a few incentives.
People who donate $25 to the project will receive the the next version of the We Live Up Here book and some Sudbury-themed pins. If a generous donor decides to give the project $1,000, he or she will have a dance party thrown in their honour. That person would also receive 10 copies of the next We Live Up Here book, with their name printed in it, and 10 copies of last year’s book.
Pelletier said the mural project will probably cost around $10,000 to complete. They have set aside some profits from last year’s book to help pay for the project.
“Instead of waiting for six months for an answer applying for a grant, we can just do the same thing we did last year for the book,” Pelletier said. “We talk about it, we get people enthused about it and giving us a hand.”
At the time of this writing, people donated $1,315 to the project with 48 days remaining in the fundraising campaign.
The first mural will feature black and white portraits of Sudburians in the Sudbury Market. The project will have a photographer on hand, who will take people’s photos at the market on Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 11.
Knapp and Pelletier were inspired by a French street artist named J R, who plastered New York’s Times Square with black and white portraits earlier this year.
The second mural will feature the phrase “you are beautiful” surrounded by a pastiche of bright colours. The mural, which will be on Durham Street in downtown Sudbury, will be part of the global You Are Beautiful campaign.
The campaign was started in the United States by Matthew Hoffman, and has spread that simple three-worded message around the world.
“Sudbury needs to be told that’s it’s beautiful sometimes,” Pelletier said. “It’s so rough around the edges that people often just see the potholes and they don’t see the incredible nature that we have and the rich history.”
The final mural will be on a retaining wall along The Kingsway, just before it reaches downtown and becomes Lloyd Street. The mural will be a tongue and cheek ode to Sudbury’s car culture, and will feature a picture of a race car that was first featured in The Sudbury Star in the early 1950s. The caption next to the image will read “let’s drive there” in bold black letters.
“Let’s get people talking about how they move,” Pelletier said about the planned mural. “Public art is a way to make cities more bike-friendly and walk-friendly.”
If We Live Up Here surpasses its fundraising goal they will use the money to build more murals. Pelletier said they have mined many photos of Sudbury that date as far back as the early 1900s. Many of the images could be used for future murals.
[Source: Jonathan Migneault @ The Sudbury Star]