OTTAWA, September 26, 2016 – A new colourful six-paneled art mural created by local students has been installed on the southwest-facing exterior wall of the Carlingwood branch of the Ottawa Public Library. Funded entirely by the OPL, the project is a vibrant example of a Library’s partnership and how these can benefit vulnerable groups. The mural was installed in mid-September, in time to celebrate the popular branch’s upcoming fiftieth anniversary.
Titled, 50 Down, 50 To Go, 50 More Years Watch Us Grow!, the mural showcases the evolution of the Carlingwood branch community and displays the local teens’ impressions of what a library means to them ‒ past, present and future.
“The project inspired a sense of belonging in youth who face challenges, and introduced them to library network and its wide-ranging supports and resources,” says Ottawa Public Library Board Chair Tim Tierney, Councillor for Beacon Hill-Cyrville.
Artist Claudia Salguero led grade 9 and 10 teens from Carlington Community Health Centre’s Students-Will-All-Graduate program in the sketching, painting and assembly of a mural for Carlingwood branch. The artwork depicts the library as a safe, inclusive place where people gather to find, share and use information. Visually, it showcases the branch’s multi-generational users, a rainbow of gender and cultural identities. The mural alludes to the significance of nature for Indigenous and other Canadians as well as to the pervasiveness of technology today.
“This collaborative art project builds on a key community partnership and shows the library’s mission at work: to inspire learning, spark curiosity, and connect people,” says Ottawa Public Library CEO, Danielle McDonald.
The mural project gave the teens the opportunity to collaborate on a creative and collective project, empowering them to carry a process through concept to production. Participants learned valuable life skills: perseverance, problem solving, teamwork, and overcoming challenges. The project brought youth into contact with the Library and underlined how the OPL can build community and help transform lives.