Cedar Court Murals
It was such a rich experience for me to join with the communities of Mayland Heights and Vista Heights to create a mural that brings attention to the Cedar Court Hub. Working with the City of Calgary and the United Way, we sought out input from the community at Summer Festivals and local Barbecue events. We asked neighbors what images they would like to see on a mural that celebrates their community. We sat down informally with the people right in Cedar Court to ask them their opinion.
One of my favorite responses was a request to put up an image of a gazelle! Most people said they wanted something with bright colors and something that includes children. They wanted diversity to be included as a theme. So then I set out taking photos of people from the community and thinking of images that symbolize the themes of diversity, family and community spirit. I settled on an image of a child and a nest. The nest symbolized the nurturing place to grow and belong and be safe. All things that are valued in this community.
The eggs and feathers in the nest were painted by community members in cultural patterns from all around the world. They were scattered toward the hub building bringing the viewers eye toward the hub. A huge set of wings were installed on the actual hub building to bring people over to take photos in front of the wings giving people another chance to visit and learn about the hub.
The people of this community really project a sense of belonging and pride. They make this community rich. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to be involved. I hope to stay in touch.
In addition to the pieces completed by Ele, community members also came together on August 23rd and 24th for over 12 hours of painting for boards to go up around some large city refuse bins that were not allowed to be moved. These boards were completed as a group effort, even despite the rain that kept us inside. The photos show just a few of the community painters. None of these murals would have been possible without the help of Daniel Kebede, the Crossroads Community social worker. In the few short months he has been here, he has already brought in numerous programs and coordinated numerous art projects. Please come by Cedar Court Hub, located at 1820 14 Ave NE, to check out the programs, or talk with Daniel about volunteering in the community!