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Winter weather wreaks havoc on murals

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Jan 11, 2014 - 1:17 PM |
Some of the faces on the mural at the farmer's market on Elgin Street have become smudged and blurred thanks to the harsh winter weather. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Some of the faces on the mural at the farmer's market on Elgin Street have become smudged and blurred thanks to the harsh winter weather. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Creators plan to rehabilitate art projects next spring

Three of the murals created last year by the minds behind the popular photo book We Live Up Here aren't standing up well to Sudbury's harsh winter weather.

The art projects, which involved an environmentally-friendly technique of pasting paper printed with black-and-white photography onto various surfaces using wheat paste, are peeling away and fading.

At the farmer's market, for example, the faces of Sudburians pasted to the metal stalls used by vendors are becoming smudged and blurred.

The damage is even worse at the murals on MacKenzie Street and The Kingsway, where parts of the images adhered to concrete walls are actually peeling away or have torn off altogether.

The MacKenzie mural features pictures of people's eyes, and The Kingsway mural — targeting the habitually heavy traffic in the area — features the words “What's the rush?” and a picture of a man in a vintage speedcar.

The fourth mural created by the group, a multi-coloured creation on a Durham Street building featuring the words “You Are Beautiful” is, well, still beautiful. That's because it was actually painted onto the building.

The murals — which cost between $1,000 and slightly more than $2,000 each — were funded through a crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo.

Local graphic designer Andrew Knapp, who created the murals along with fellow We Live Up Here co-creator Christian Pelletier and other volunteers, said they always realized the paper murals might not make it through the winter.

He said they have plans to rehabilitate the art projects in the spring — at least the ones on MacKenzie Street and The Kingsway — and make them more weather hardy, whether that means using paint or a better paper technique.

Knapp said he's currently researching his options. He said he's not really concerned about the mural at the farmer's market, as the stalls there are meant to be a temporary location for vendors anyway.

“We know it's our responsibility now,” he said. “We don't want to make Sudbury uglier. That's not our goal.”
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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