Bringing art to Bay Ward
I recently saw the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit and saw how visitors reacted to the colour and beauty of these works of art. The exhibit reminds us that Van Gogh struggled as an artist and lived a life of poverty. Today artists continue to struggle since art projects are far and few between yet we need them to enhance our lives and to bring depth to our existence. As we emerge from our homes and back into the community after the pandemic let’s take this opportunity to show how the arts can play a role in making us smile or making us think. We all need arts in our lives more than ever before.
For example I notice the smiles of visitors to the Beachconers/Britannia Coffeehouse as they react to the backdrop of a freshly painted shipping container covered with bright coloured images to enjoy as they sip their coffee. These works of art add so much to our surroundings.
I am very proud to announce that this fall there will be a mural painted on the massive retaining wall adjacent to 2880 Carling Avenue. This is a joint project between the local Ottawa Girls and Boys Club on Dumaurier and the City of Ottawa. The project is being led by Ottawa artist, Kalkidan Assefa with the assistance of an extended number of youth who live in the communities of Britannia Wood, Michele Heights and Foster Farm. The theme of the project is being worked on now in collaboration with the youth who will contribute ideas to the design. I am super excited about this project and look forward to seeing it once it is completed. I have passed by that wall so many times and thought it looked like a blank canvas calling to be painted. I want to give a special thanks to Hazelview Properties who enthusiastically gave their permission to use this location in front of their apartment building.
I am also proud to announce there is a joint project sponsored by Crime Prevention Ottawa under the Paint It Up program that will bring a mural on the side of the Frank Ryan Fieldhouse. This project will use art to discourage graffiti and give an opportunity to make use of the creative talents of youth in the community.
As work progress of the Stage 2 LRT project there will works of art incorporated into the new LRT Stations across Bay Ward. This art can take many forms including sculptures as well as installed pieces near stations. There will be opportunity for community input and ideas coming soon.
All these efforts of bringing art to our community show that infrastructure can be something more than functional. Let’s take these occasions to celebrate our local artists who bring spark into our surroundings. Enjoying art in public spaces is an opportunity to celebrate the diverse beauty of our city. We can certainly count our blessings on the richness of talent in our community.