One mural that is part of this year’s crop of new pieces of public art made possible by the Up Here festival is particularly special. Kevin Ledo, a Montreal-based mural artist, has created an enormous tribute to the late game show host and Sudbury native, Alex Trebek.
Trebek’s passing from cancer last year was felt by Jeopardy! fans the world over, but for many people in Sudbury his death was particularly meaningful. He was, after all, a Sudburian.
To commemorate Trebek and his origins, Ledo collaborated with Up Here organizers and the Rainbow District School Board to bring a giant mural of Trebek to the Nickel City.
Ledo is putting the finishing touches on the mural, which you can see on an exterior wall of Sudbury Secondary School, facing the Greater Sudbury Public Library.
The placement was not an accident. Ledo and Up Here found it fitting to have the mural looking out on a place for knowledge and curiosity — virtues Trebek role as the host of the popular trivia show encouraged.
“It was just perfect, in my mind, that I paint Alex Trebek,” Ledo told Sudbury.com. “I always just try to do my best work and I’m really just encouraged and happy that people are happy about it in this neighborhood.”
The artist was jamming to music as he carefully applied paint to the school walls. Being up on a scissor-lift in the blistering August heat is an endurance test, but Ledo said he is looking forward to jumping in the lake after he completes this assignment.
“I’m just really in it now and I’m trying to get it done in the time I have allotted,” he said. “It’s proven to be a little more difficult than I thought in terms of the surface of the wall. It’s very absorbent, so I’m having to put in more elbow grease, more paint than I thought. But it’s all a part of the process.”
The mural will be ready for the Up Here festival coming up this weekend. To check out the final product, visit the mural at the Sudbury Secondary School. To find out more about the art and music at the festival, visit the Up Here website.