Kitchener neighbours connect through community art wall project

Neighbours in the Homewood Green area spent the weekend working on a new mosaic art wall project that will serve as the park’s welcoming entrance.

15 homes are featured on the Homewood Green art wall

Neighbours attended three workshops where they spent time drawing an image of their home, creating it out of porcelain and glazing it. (Carmen Ponciano/CBC)

Mary Neil and her neighbours spent hours together this past weekend adding a personal touch to their community park.

It was the next chapter in a three-year process to upgrade the little Homewood Green park, between West and Holmwood avenues in Kitchener, paid for through a $21,000 Festival of Neighbourhoods grant they received in 2014.

This weekend, they worked on the park's mosaic art wall project — a piece of the upgrade puzzle that will serve as a welcoming entrance to the park.

"This is one of the things that people first see when they arrive and we wanted it to be something that was welcoming and something that we put our own touch on, that we worked hard to create and that made our community stand out." said Neil.

The design was created with the help of local artist, Meg Leslie. Together they decided to go with a mosaic on the waist-high wall, facing West Avenue, featuring ceramic sculptures of neighbourhood homes.

Neil and her neighbours attended several workshops with Leslie, where they spent time drawing an image of their home, before creating it out of porcelain and then glazing it.

With the help of local artist, Meg Leslie, neighbours worked on the Homewood Green art wall project this weekend. Neighbours used ceramic renditions of their homes and broken glass to create a mosaic piece for the art wall project. (Carmen Ponciano/CBC)

Connecting with neighbours

Neil said the process helped create new bonds between neighbours.

"My favourite part of this process is just learning who my neighbours are and coming closer together," she said.

Leslie said that the wall is already serving that purpose, she recalls neighbours stopping by with water and freezies as they worked in the hot sun over the weekend. Others, driving by, shouted praise for the project.

"It's a neat neighbourhood," said Leslie. "This park really feels like it anchors the neighbourhood, which is really beautiful."

15 households took part in the Homewood Green art wall project. Neighbours spent Saturday and Sunday assembling the mosaic piece. (Carmen Ponciano/CBC)