The minds behind Up Here (formerly Up Fest) have something giant planned for this year's festival.
The three-day festival, happening Aug. 11-13, is about muralists, musicians and artists connecting with the community. Only in its second year, the festival has garnered international attention, said executive director Christian Pelletier.
Ella and Pitr, one of the world's most notorious urban artist duos from France, have applied to come paint in Sudbury, Pelletier said.
“We opened up submissions this year, and one of the submissions is from Ella and Pitr,” Pelletier said. “When we saw that, we were like, 'this is awesome.' These guys are kind of big deal in the art world.
“They do huge rooftop murals that are visible from space and Google Maps. The series is called Dormeurs géants (Sleeping Giants). They will be at the festival this summer, and we're currently trying to find them a really big roof.”
Pelletier said he is opening up the idea to the community to see just how big the mural can be.
The bigger the space, the better. With such renowned international artists coming all the way to Sudbury, he wants to make sure they have the biggest possible impact on the festival.
“We've looked at a few areas downtown, which is ideally where we want the mural to be, but we're open to other places,” Pelletier said. “They've identified a few, we've identified a few, and we've been going back and forth, but we want Sudbury to get involved.
“Our first crazy idea was on top of Tom Davies Square, but there was some concern about having a sleeping giant on top of it, and we totally understand that. So, even if it's not a roof top, as long as it's an area that is large enough to accommodate a mural, like and empty parking lot where residents can actually interact with the mural, that would be good.”
The hope is that Ella and Pitr will also do a wall mural while they're in town, where people will be able to watch them work. It's difficult to watch them paint a giant mural on a roof top, Pelletier said.
This will be their first piece in Ontario, and their second piece in Canada.
“Not only will this be great for our city, but for art in general,” he said.
Up Here will be accepting ideas for rooftop locations into May. The final locations for all murals will be revealed at the end of May, Pelletier said.
“This has the potential to literally put Sudbury on the map,” he said. “We keep telling ourselves Sudbury is a haven for public art, and this is a great way to prove it.”
Being able to attract international artists like Ella and Pitr speaks volumes to the success of the first Urban Art and Music Festival, said Nico Glaude, muralist curator for Up Here.
“We're only in our second year, and people have already noticed it,” Glaude said. “We already have a great music and art scene; we just want to make it better.”
Rooftop ideas can be submitted via email to [email protected].