August 20, 2021 (OTTAWA, ON) – Local community-engaged artist Claudia Salguero was joined by Ottawa Community Housing Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Giguère, Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden, OCHC Board Member and City Councillor Catherine McKenney, and Siffan Rahman, speaking on behalf of Centretown Community Health Centre, for the official unveiling of the ‘I See Beauty, I See Beauty In You’ Mural located on the exterior of two OCHC buildings at 415 MacLaren Street and 380 Somerset Street West.
The ‘I See Beauty, I See Beauty In You’ mural was imagined during an art workshop with OCHC tenants, with the support from the Centretown Community Health Centre and Ms. Salguero. Together, they developed a vision of creating an art piece that would shine a light on the caring, kind and wonderful people living in their community. An eye figures prominently throughout the mural, reminding us of the beauty around us, even in these challenging times during a global pandemic.
More than 20 Ottawa Community Housing Corporation residents were involved in the creation of the murals. These opportunities were made possible by the support of Ottawa Salus, who helped distribute paint kits for the distanced painting sessions with tenants. Special acknowledgement goes to OCHC tenant Beverly, whose poem served as the inspiration. Her poem is available here: https://www.och-lco.ca/community-capital-fund-new-murals-coming-soon.
Funding for the mural was provided by Ottawa Community Housing Corporation, MASC Online and the Centretown Community Health Centre.
“The I See Beauty, I See Beauty In You’ mural is really created for tenants, by tenants. It is wonderful that they were able to come together and shine a spotlight on the positives about their community during challenging times posed by COVID-19. We are so thankful to the OCHC employees, our partners at Centretown Community Health Centre, Ottawa Salus – and the artist – Claudia Salguero were able to bring residents together to complete this important project.”
– Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer, OCHC
“’I see beauty, I see beauty in you’ is a community art installation depicting the beauty tenants see in the city through their windows, and the beauty we can see in each other when we embrace our differences and create as a community. This art installation was created through the pandemic lockdown in collaboration with the participation of 23 tenants of 415 MacLaren Street and 380 Somerset Street.”
– Claudia Salguero, community-engaged artist
“Community art is so important. It helps to create a shared vision of the neighbourhood and a welcoming space for tenants. I am so appreciative that OCH, the Centretown Community Health Centre and Claudia were able to come together to facilitate this mural.”
– Catherine McKenney, City Councillor for Somerset Ward and OCHC Board Member
- The murals are comprised of three separate panels – two are placed at the front and a larger panel at the back at 415 MacLaren Street, in the shared common space with 380 Somerset Street West.
- Ottawa Community Housing has more than 30 murals in their communities across the city; 13 were designed by Claudia assisted by tenants.
- The ‘I See Beauty, I See Beauty In You’ mural was jointly funded by Ottawa Community Housing Corporation, MASC Online and Centretown Community Health Centre.
- An OCHC resident composed a poem that served as inspiration for the mural’s theme. It is available here: https://www.och-lco.ca/community-capital-fund-new-murals-coming-soon.
- The panels were painted by residents while respecting public health’s COVID-19 restrictions; the panels were later compiled and overlayed with a digital image to complete the mural.
- Ottawa Salus helped to facilitate the painting sessions and the art workshop where the residents conceived the theme.
- Discussions on the project theme began in November 2020.
About Claudia Salguero
Claudia Salguero is a Colombian-Canadian professional multidisciplinary artist and Community Engaged Artist working with multicultural groups in communities in risk. Working in collaboration with different Social Institutions, she has created more than 40 community murals in the city since 2014. Visit www.claudiasalguero.com for more information.
Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) provides approximately 15,000 homes to about 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with special needs, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCHC houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicity and cultures. OCHC is the largest social housing provider in Ottawa, managing two-thirds of the City’s social housing portfolio, and is the second-largest in Ontario. OCHC was selected as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
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