A Message of Wisdom: Ottawa's tallest mural created on Bank Street
OTTAWA -- Claudia Salguero has always loved to create.
"I’ve been an artist all my life," she said.
But never has her canvas been so tall.
"Never, Never. You know, one project leads to another one and another one and one dream leads to another one," said Salguero.
"And then I started dreaming about his project and here we are,” said the artist.
Her dream is to create Ottawa’s tallest mural, and she has. It’s 32ft x 48ft, composed of 48 hand-painted panels.
"This mural is going from the ninth to the fourteenth floor of the Ottawa Community Housing Building in Billing’s Bridge. I think it’s the tallest in Ottawa so far. There’s no murals in Billings Bridge and South Ottawa so I’m very happy to add some colour to this area," she said.
For Claudia Salguero, the size of this work is not as significant as its message.
Salguero engaged of 60 members of the community to create the Wisdom Mural.
It was designed and inspired by indigenous elders, culture keepers from around the world, urging us to have more reverence for the planet.
"We need to reconnect with Mother Nature. We are disconnected in many ways from the bottom and we need to go back and see nature as a mother, as a resource of life, as a source of life," said Salguero.
One-thousand stars are painted on several panels.
"Honouring the souls of the children found buried on the sites of former residential schools," Salguero said.
This is a two-year labour of love for Salguero, fueled by grants, an ongoing crowd funding campaign, and benevolent donors.
"Many beautiful donors and the community have been supportive of this project," she said.
As the finished mural gets closer to completion, anticipation builds.
"This is going to be the first time for me to see the whole thing together. I’m very excited," said Salguero.
The mural installation will be completed on Friday. When that final panel is in place, Salguero says she will be humbled.
"More than proud, thankful."
The mural is located on the south side of Ottawa Community Housing Building at 1365 Bank St.