A Yellowknife mural to be unveiled this spring is designed to make a corner of the city’s downtown “a little bit more welcoming.”
The mural – named 5052 after its home at the intersection of 50 Street and 52 Avenue – is a partnership between the Foster Family Coalition of the NWT and YK Makerspace.
Korry Garvey, the Foster Family Coalition’s program coordinator, said the organization wanted to make its building at the intersection “more notable in the community.”
Five artists and seven teenagers will work together to create the mural, meeting each Saturday. Garvey expects their work to take three to four months.
“Right now, everyone is getting to know each other still and figuring out what kind of things we’re going to be putting on the mural,” she said.
The design will consist of 10 circles, each four feet in diameter, stretching across the building like the sun rising and setting. The theme will be family and community.
“I had to pick out pictures and what I picked out had to do with my cultural background: there’s an ulu, a polar bear, and an igloo,” said 17-year-old participant Lois Anderson.
“My favourite part of it? I would have to say meeting new people and working together,” she said.
Artists Michael Fatt, John Rombough, Amelie Duval, Christina Moore, and Terry Pamplin are helping the teens fine-tune their ideas while introducing their own ways of working.
Makerspace YK and Kasteel Construction and Coatings are helping to coordinate supplies and will attach the mural pieces to the building. Some of the youth are documenting the whole process in video.
“We wanted to make sure [the project] was accessible to everyone in that they are getting compensated for the work that they’re doing,” said Garvey, “so the youth are learning a lot of new skills, but they’re also getting paid for their work.”
The Foster Family Coalition received $20,000 from the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge, through the Yellowknife Community Foundation, to fund the project.
The 5052 mural isn’t the only new public art coming to Yellowknife in the near future.
On Sunday, the CBC reported Mahalia Yakeleya-Newmark is working on a project connecting artists and youth to paint more murals throughout the city.