The Sudbury Housing complex at 1200 Attlee St. in New Sudbury is looking considerably brighter - literally - after residents in the area worked with a local group called Live Love Louder to paint several murals this week.
One of the murals was painted in a cul-de-sac in the complex, and gives the many children who live in the area a place to play.
“This particular project came at the request of some of the tenants from 1200 Attlee,” said Wallace Gillard, one of the founders of Live Love Louder.
“They requested that we provide something for the kids to do, an interactive mural that they can not only take part of the making of but actually play on.”
The brightly-coloured mural features places to play classic games such as Hopscotch, King’s Court and Mirror Me. It also has lines where they can ride their bicycles and scooters, “and maybe get used to some of Sudbury’s roundabouts,” said Gillard.
A hydro box at the end of the same cul-de-sac was also painted by volunteers, and a couple of walls in another area of the housing complex were painted with the words “love” and “hope,” covering over graffiti and negative imagery.
Area resident Dominique Aubin said she contacted Live Love Louder to see if they’d be interested in doing a mural project in the neighbourhood.
“I'm pretty excited to see it actually come to fruition as we're speaking, and have so much community involvement,” she said.
The 1200 Attlee murals were painted Aug. 10 through a partnership between the Live Love Louder team, area residents young and old, and volunteers from Myths and Mirrors, SACY and Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury.
Aubin said she thought it was important to add some “inclusive play” as part of the murals. She said there are more than 70 families who live in the area.
“It doesn't matter if you have the toy to play with or not, you can still play here,” Aubin said.
But most important was the involvement of the local kids in the mural-painting process, and the sense of ownership and pride that brings.
“In a year from now, when they have a friend coming over for a sleepover, they can say, ‘Hey, you know, I did this,’” Aubin said.
She said the project gives her a feeling of hope.
“It sounds corny, for sure,” she said, adding that sadly, the neighbourhood has its problems, “and all sorts of them. So, to bring these children out to play, it does bring a new hope, right?”
Gillard said Live Love Louder was started two years ago by himself and wife Laura-Leigh and their partner, community organizer Elizabeth June Davis.
Live Love Louder is a mural organization that works with communities - often in geared-to-income areas - “trying to activate the community to not only take part creatively and beautifying, but also making it their own, and taking some pride and working with one another,” said Gillard.
Over the past two years, Live Love Louder has done approximately 17 murals. Supporters include Home Hardware, which provides supplies, as well as Greater Sudbury Utilities and WAT Supplies.
Other than the 1200 Attlee project, also on the agenda this summer for Live Love Louder is finishing up the rejuvenation of the animals in Bell Park (in behind the former hospital). They are also planning on painting a mandala on the octagon in Copper Cliff’s Nickel Park.
If you’d like to nominate your neighbourhood for a mural project or contribute to Live Love Louder, visit their Facebook page.
Heidi Ulrichsen is the associate content editor at Sudbury.com. She also covers education and the arts scene.