'Safety first' leads one Sudbury artist to create a mobile mural studio
SUDBURY -- COVID-19 has created a lot of challenges for Canadians over the last year and a half with artists being no exception.
However, Sudbury muralist Monique Legault now has a new tool in her arsenal to keep her safe; she's purchased a trailer which she's dubbed her "mobile mural unit" in a bid to keep her safe.
"Often times if I go out of town, you're having to stay with the people that you're painting for or nearby, or just driving back and forth between the location and your home, and when I work in French River, Noelville or Alban, that kind of area... it's a longer jaunt," she said.
Legault felt the trailer was the best option, a place where she could sleep, store her materials while maintaining her 'bubble.'
Her murals have kept her in demand throughout the pandemic. She's been doing work all over the city of Sudbury, the French River and North Bay areas.
Saturday marked the first time she was able to take it to a job.
She's painting a rock sewer tunnel vent that will become part of the Rotary Park's new butterfly pollination garden.
"We're really lucky because of the murals, the murals keep you COVID-friendly on a regular basis," she said. "This year has been tough and not being able to sell the fine art aspect of things has been hard but thank god for the murals."
Legault has not been able to open her shop since the end of December, so it's the mural work that's kept her going.
Those who know her say it's this type of innovative thinking that artists are having to rely on.
"Out of sometimes bad things you get that innovative spirit and like ‘wow yah, there's another way to do things’ and this is going to be something that I can use indefinitely," said Linda Cartier, chair of the Sudbury Arts Council.
"And she's enthusiastic and really looking forward to the job and this park gets a lot of use, particularly on weekends and particularly on days like this so there's going to be a lot of people watching her do her work I would think," said Brian Smith, co-chair of the Rotary Park.
Work is just getting underway on the pollination garden but with Legault's help, Rotarians are hoping it will be something everyone can enjoy and a place where Monarch butterflies can thrive.
In the meantime, Legault says she plans to keep up beautifying the city, only this time she'll be doing it with trailer in tow.
"I love it, when you walk down the trail, first off no one knew this was here (the sewer vent), and now you see this puff of blue because we've put a base on it," she said.
"When you actually get to peak through and see the butterflies, it will be really welcoming."