Peeling outdoor murals to be fixed, sealed by Sudbury arts group

Some of Sudbury's peeled and cracked murals are set to be repaired.
Christian Pelletier says the murals put up by the We Live Up Here group took a beating over the winter. They will attempt to repair the murals and seal them with a product that is touted to withstand the elements — even those of a long Sudbury winter. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Some of Sudbury's peeled and cracked murals are set to be repaired.

The local art group We Live Up Here fundraised $8,000 last year to create four murals in the city, but the murals just couldn't handle Sudbury's cold.

“It's our winter temperatures,” said group co-founder Christian Pelletier.

“Despite consultation with artists all over North America … there's never been a large public art display in northern Ontario that uses this [paper] technique.”

Pelletier said his group will pull from existing funds to pay for the $1,500 cost of repairs.

The group’s enthusiasm for completing the outdoor mural project last year may have factored into the murals’ demise.

“We just jumped the gun,” he said. “We were like, putting it up in the rain and in the cold. We were crazy.”

Experimenting with different techniques is part of the artistic process, he noted. But this time he said he believes he's got the answer to making the murals last.

Pelletier has purchased a new sealant that acts like liquid plexiglass. He's anxious to get repairs done and get started on more city projects.

And it appears that, despite a few hiccups, Sudbury residents are still on board with projects like these.

“We've gotten overwhelming response that people are looking for more and more public art in the city,” said Emily Trottier, who is on the city's Cultural Planning Committee, which recently surveyed 1,500 residents asking what Sudbury needs to thrive culturally.

The city expects to have a new cultural plan ready by the new year, Trottier said.

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