Aug 12th, 2021
News release: Ottawa’s Tallest Mural Official Unveiling: ‘Wisdom’ Incorporates Voices From Elders Around The World
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August 12, 2021 (OTTAWA, ON) – Local community-engaged artist Claudia Salguero was joined by Ottawa Community Housing Corporation CEO Stéphane Giguère, OCH Board Chair Mathieu Fleury, Alta Vista Councillor Jean Cloutier and Ottawa-South MPP John Fraser, for the official unveiling of the ‘Wisdom’ Mural – Ottawa’s tallest mural – located on the exterior of an Ottawa Community Housing building at 1365 Bank Street.
The ‘Wisdom’ mural embodies “One with nature, one together” through Indigenous teachings from around the world, inviting us to intentionally reconnect with Mother Nature in a conscious way. With the help of Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, community partners, volunteers and Ottawa Community Housing employees, Ms. Salguero successfully transposed these learnings into a larger-than-life painting.
In addition to the general theme, during a working session in June, Claudia and the elders added 1,000 stars to the mural, to symbolize the souls of the children found buried on sites of former residential schools.
With this colourful community mural, Ms. Salguero intends to bring the community together, and give people a sense of empowerment and belonging. The mural is comprised of 48 hand-painted panels installed on the south side of the Bank Street apartment building between the 9th and 14th floor.
The inspiration, creation and installation of this mural was a true community effort. This project was made possible by funds received from the following partners:
- Ontario Arts Council
- Ottawa Community Housing
- Ottawa Community Foundation
- Southeast Community Health Centre
- Catholic Centre for Immigrants Ottawa
- City of Ottawa
- Graphenstone Canada
- Sheldon Rice of Raymond James
- Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited – Structural Consulting Engineers
- ‘Go Fund Me’ Donors
- Oakview Capital Inc
“ I have had an amazing amount of support in the creation of the Wisdom Mural. To see it installed is a dream come true. Murals carry the history of places, the voices of the community and in this case universal teachings from our Elders. This important piece of community art will remind us permanently the importance of reconnecting with Mother Nature.”
- Claudia Salguero, community-engaged muralist
“ We are so fortunate to be able to foster this wonderful relationship with the artist, and a friend of our communities, Claudia over the years. With the help of tenants, staff and partners, she has designed, painted and installed various murals in 13 OCHC locations, creating pride of place for thousands of tenants and the broader community.”
- Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Community Housing
“It is great to see local artists taking on such large and visible projects like Claudia Salguero has with the very meaningful Wisdom Mural. This mural demonstrates strong community partnership and engagement and highlights the unique opportunity that OCH has, to beautify and animate our communities. Congratulations to Claudia on this piece, it is something for everyone to be very proud of.”
- Mathieu Fleury, Rideau-Vanier Councillor and OCHC Board Chair
“It is impressive to witness how so many community partners came together to support Claudia in the creation of this mural. That collaboration and support have created something that will serve as a legacy for many years to come.”
- Jean Cloutier, Alta Vista Councillor
- The design and concept were informed by 10 Elders from many cultures, including Chinese, Iraqi, Indian, New Zealand, Métis and Algonquin.
- When Claudia and the Elders working on the Wisdom Mural learned of the unmarked graves of children and individuals uncovered at residential schools which came to light in June of this year, they added a star for each grave found.
- Ottawa Community Housing has more than 30 murals in their communities across the city; 13 were designed by Claudia assisted by tenants.
- To complete the mural, the artist held community painting workshops, where volunteers, including a group of OCHC staff, could help paint.
- In total, 60 community members were engaged to help create the Wisdom Mural.
- The mural was installed between the 9th and 14th floor of an Ottawa Community Housing apartment building located at 1365 Bank Street, Ottawa.
- The best view of the mural can be seen driving northbound on Bank Street, just after Kilborn Avenue.
- A ‘Go Fund Me’ also contributed to the funding of the project. More than $10,000 was raised in 12 months.
- From concept to installation, the project took two years.
To learn more about the Wisdom Mural, visit:
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 (OCH) 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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