Through our Waterloo Windows: Lifting Spirits and Keeping Communities Together

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Photo by Ellie Pointer

While people across the world are physically distancing, Create Waterloo’s Through our Waterloo Windows project is keeping the city connected. 

“The project allows people to show their appreciation and support for all the frontline workers but also to share moments of happiness or glee” said Sonya Poweska, Culture Program specialist for the City of Waterloo.

Launched in April by the arts and culture wing of the city, Create Waterloo, the project invites everyone in and out of the city’s borders to submit images of their art, stories, and hopeful messages with the community.

Accepting submissions through the City of Waterloo Public Art page, pieces have been and will continue to be shared across Create Waterloo’s social media channels. Once the community can gather in person, all submissions will be assembled into a temporary public art piece at the Visitor and Heritage Information Centre in Waterloo. 

“We are really lucky to live in a city that supports and makes space for professional, emerging, and hobbyist artists, or even those who don’t identify as artists” said Poweska. 

With the goal of this project being to spread and encourage positivity amidst an otherwise lonely and difficult time, the community is responding with art in all forms from all ages, spreading joy throughout social media and the community. 

From children’s encouraging messages hung in the windows of their homes, to an artist’s mandala art completed to bring themselves peace during stressful times, these are just some examples already featured in the project. 

Brie Pointer, graphic artist in the Waterloo region, also took part in the project. With the help of her 5-year-old daughter Ellie, Pointer designed a chalk mural on the side of her own house!

“At a time of stress and loneliness, it’s nice to give people that sort of joy, just by looking at a colourful wall” said Pointer. 

Showcasing the success of the project thus far in bringing joy and positivity to communities during isolation, what started as something fun to do with her daughter quickly brought the community together. 

“I ran out of chalk for the side of my house, so I put a call out on my Facebook to see if anyone had anything to donate, and I was inundated with chalk donations” Brie said. 

At an otherwise isolating time, sometimes a rainbow wall chalk mural is just what the community needs. 

Whether you live in Waterloo or not, identify as an artist yourself or just want to share something beautiful for your community’s feeds, check out the City of Waterloo Public Art page. Here, you too can submit your work, encouraging and embracing the community from a distance.

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