Sudbury festival puts out the call for walls to be featured in this year’s mural painting
SUDBURY -- Up Here is a musical and urban art festival in Sudbury that takes place mid August.
This year organizers say it will go ahead but with revised plans to adhere to pandemic physical distancing protocols.
Several murals are part of the Up Here initiative to brighten downtown Sudbury.
Each summer local artists paint walls and power boxes as part of the art festival.
"Up Here Festival is an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the city through art. So it's about kind of seeing our city differently, brightening up the city and being proud of the city we live in and where we come from," said Jen McKerral, the co-founder of the Up Here Festival.
Ashley Guenette,22, was born in Sudbury and now lives in Sturgeon Falls.
She will start her Masters in Fine Art at the University of Waterloo this September and has been selected to paint a large-mural as part of the festival this summer. The subject matter will be a surprise.
"I can tell you that it's gonna be big, beautiful, colourful, fun. Probably may be seeing an animal in there. For those who know my art, like I make big colourful animals," said Guenette.
Last year, Up Here took on its biggest project in the festival's five year history-a massive mural painted on the former General Hospital.
"The reactions are mixed and that's what you want from art. You want people to react to it. Whether or not it's positive, it’s forcing people to have a conversation about the role of art in our community, and the role of buildings that aren't being used anymore and walls that aren't being used," said McKerral.
Right now festival organizers are looking for walls and other outdoor canvasses for artist to splash their creativity.
"I guess Sudbury is very known to be a mining town and to see these big pieces of art that are very colourful and uplifting and they give out a new energy. I think it's very refreshing to see how lively the art works is becoming here in Northern Ontario," said Guenette.
This year, 12 local artists will take part in the festival, painting power boxes and six large murals in the downtown and other neighbourhoods in the city.
Organizers of Up Here say they will be announcing finalized plans for the festival in a couple of weeks.