By The Mural Project Team
Art Not Shame is a Guelph based charitable organization that provides creative workshops with a view to talking about and reducing shame.
Our team was together the day the lockdown was announced; sitting around our communal lunch table (imagine?!), we were getting ready to launch one of our main program offerings, “F*ck Perfect,” as news of Covid-19 updated by the minute. We felt lost and deflated. We left that day with a vague and sinking feeling that we might not see each other for some time.
A couple months into lockdown, we were searching for ways to build community and speak to what was happening as we witnessed intersecting crises come to the fore, including increased isolation as a result of Covid-19, overdose numbers rising in our local community, and calls to rise up against white supremacy and anti-Black racism both here and around the world.
The Mural Project, the brainchild of social artist Melanie Schambach, emerged as one possible way to engage people across distance, and to act as a megaphone of sorts to voice issues of local and global relevance during this time. Melanie piloted her first virtual mural while stuck in Guatemala as a result of travel bans. We approached her about running one for Guelph and surrounding areas, with the intention of amplifying the voices of those who identify as Black, LGBTQ2I+, Indigenous, people of colour, newcomers, street-engaged, living with developmental exceptionalities, or struggling with mental health and addictions.
Mural participants share their in-process work from home.