Two murals titled, I See Beauty, I See You, are coming to 415 MacLaren and 380 Somerset
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, tenants from 415 MacLaren and 380 Somerset, OCH staff, Ottawa Salus and the Centretown Community Health Centre have found creative ways to stay connected with one another.
A local community-engaged muralist, Claudia Salguero, was brought on board to help make this connection a reality. People living at the two OCH properties were invited to participate in the creation. A conversation started and a vision surfaced for an art piece that would shine a light on the caring, kind and wonderful people living in these communities.
The poem below from a local resident contributed to this conversation.
I am a high-rise dreamer
living close to Chinatown
where great old houses
line the streets,
their faces hidden by ivy.
In the fall night rains contrast
the wet black boughs of the elm trees
with their delicate saffron leaves.
The old Chinese women,
as numerous as tiny spyeria blossoms,
go to the park to practice Tai Chi.
Looking like gnarled dolls,
they chatter like sparrows.
Some mornings the air is exhilarating,
and during my evening walks
the sun illuminates the clouds
to a burnt orange.
Around me tall dark trees
stand sentinel above the asphalt.
In the spring the magnolia tree
at the end of the street
loses its aureole
With contentment I pick wildflowers
of daring colours: vibrant yellow, purple, blue and burgundy.
The murals are expected to be installed in May, following the provincial stay-at-home order. The concept features an eye that ties the pieces of the murals together. This theme reminds us of the beauty we can see and appreciate around us, even in challenging times.