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Up Here reveals muralists and guest curator for its sixth edition

Sudbury's urban art and music festival reimagined because of pandemic

Sudbury will be getting several more splashes of colour during the summer and fall. Up Here, Sudbury’s urban art and music festival, has revealed the artists that will paint murals and hydro boxes around the city this year.

The sixth edition of Up Here has been reimagined for the ongoing pandemic and will see the creation of five new large-scale murals by five local artists. The Power Up Project is also back for a fourth straight year, providing electrical utility boxes as canvasses for six more local artists. The festival will offer programming throughout the end of the summer and into the fall.

Mural locations will be announced over the next few weeks through the free Up Here app now available in the App Store and Google Play

Meet the local artists that will be creating this year's murals:

Sonia Ekiyor-Katimi is a queer artist from Nigeria, now living in Canada. She has completed her education in Architecture but like many in the field, her interest is also in visual art. She aims to represent impolite characters and explore queer Black representation through her own life and observations. Sonia is invited by guest curator Ra’anaa Brown.

Chantal Abdel-Nour is a graphic designer, illustrator, and printmaker and has been teaching in the Graphic Design Program at Cambrian College since 2014. Her work tends to feature bold and controlled line-work, minimal palettes, experimental typography, and collections of organic materials.

Ashley Guenette is a francophone multidisciplinary artist whose body of work bounces between colourful and vibrant oil and acrylic paintings and large textile works made from 100% recycled materials. Her work is reactive to material and space, stemming from initial impulses around colour, sensation and mood.

Lümen Moratz’ work focuses on strong colour palettes, tidy line work, and bold curvilinear shapes. Much of her work is dedicated to surrealist landscapes, and fantasy wildlife. Lümen focuses on fantasy, while sometimes touching on surrealism, using vibrant colour palettes, both bright, and dark.

Johanna Westby is a graphic designer and illustrator originally from Elliot Lake, now living in Sudbury. Her traditional and digital illustration primarily focuses on high detail, pattern, and vivid colour contrasts to incite movement and visual interest.

Up Here’s Power Up Project is back for the fourth year in a row thanks to a continued partnership with Greater Sudbury Utilities. The project allows six local artists to paint electrical utility boxes around Sudbury. Local artists invited by Up Here this year include Aly Becker, Tammy Gaber, Angelene Humphrey, Tarun Godara, Katarina Perkovic, and Lauren Verwolf.

Up Here welcomes this year’s guest curator Ra’anaa Brown who is championing many Black-led projects including an art installation, a mural, a panel discussion, a podcast, and a video project all to be revealed over the next few days and weeks.

Since completing her master’s thesis at McEwen Architecture on The Architectural Segregation of Chicago: Black Identity in the South Side, Ra’anaa is intensely combining her two greatest passions: art and activism. Ra’anaa has led Up Here’s art installations team since 2018. She recently took on the position of co-chair for Black Lives Matter Sudbury and has been working diligently to create local momentum during this historic moment in time.

Up Here’s reimagined musical programming and other punctual events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Up Here is able to once again count on the support of Barrydowne Paint and Equipment World to provide paint and rental equipment to the festival. This year’s murals are also made possible thanks to the support of Greater Sudbury Utilities, Collège Boréal, Glencore, and Eastlink.