Two Sudburians are working to make positive change in their communities through art.
Mariah Laferriere and Grant Neegan, two artists involved with the Sudbury community arts group, Live Love Louder, were both named as community change makers through the 8 80 Cities program.
8 80 Cities is a Toronto-based non-profit group that is committed to improving the quality of life for people by transforming cities into places where people can walk, bike, access public transit and visit great parks and public places.
Their Community Connections program recognizes people aged 19-35 for their innovative ideas to create more equitable, healthy, and engaged communities, and provides a $5,000 grant to help realize those ideas.
Neegan has been working on a plan to accommodate outdoor art sessions catering to individuals of all ages.
The end goal will be to have participants contribute to a mural.
“I’m hoping to create opportunities to contribute, develop confidence and get the community to take part in physical painting,” Neegan said.
“I feel like it’s special,” Neegan said. “Even in these times such as COVID, we’ve all been inside and away from people, I feel like it’s really nice to come together as a community and paint and express ourselves.”
“And I feel like we can do that as artists.”
Mariah Laferriere will also be contributing to her community by leading the design of a large outdoor mural near the baseball fields in Azilda.
She said participants of all ages and abilities will be able to participate in the brainstorming, designing, and physical painting of the mural.
“We really want to make it so that the community can come together and help out while we’re painting,” Laferriere said. “And I have some ideas to be able to get more people to come in and share this experience with me.”
Both artists have been working with Live Love Louder, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing inclusive learning, beautification, and cooperative artwork opportunities in marginalized communities in the City of Greater Sudbury.
In 2021, the group spearheaded a community improvement project at Place Hurtubuise in Sudbury, creating various sketches and paintings to line the sidewalks and pavement at the complex.
On August 10, the group is planning a similar event at 1200 Attlee social housing complex.
“The goal of this initiative is to create games, a track, and paint the hydro box located in the courtyard,” reads a Facebook post. “They will also take this time to cover up any profanity/phallic imagery that litters the walls along the outdoor walkway corridors/individuals residence.”
Visit the Live Love Louder home page for details on volunteering with the group.