Born from the desire to connect community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of North Vancouver’s latest public mosaic art piece has been unveiled.
Standing at the corner of 15th Street and Grand Boulevard, At Home is a response to the effects of the pandemic on the community, and is the final stage in the North Van City Mosaic project, one of five projects created by the Mayor's Healthiest Small City Social Resiliency Collective.
“Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been times where everyone has felt isolated and alone. These challenges required communities to act,” City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan said. “That’s why I brought together the Mayor’s Healthiest Small City Social Resiliency Collective to facilitate new community connections and create a space for people to have their voices and stories recognized. The At Home mosaic was one of the collective’s projects initiated to strengthen our resilience and provide hope. I am so proud to see it unveiled.”
Supported by funding from the City of North Vancouver, North Van Arts, United Way of the Lower Mainland, North Vancouver Recreation & Culture Commission, Family Services of the North Shore, and North Shore Neighbourhood House, the project was built and brought to life by artist Blake Williams.
Created in two phases, people who had a connection to North Van, whether through work or play, were asked to submit their personal COVID stories through images and words. Artists Sandrine Pelissier and art therapist Sophie Babeanu facilitated the gathering of stories.
Each of the art pieces submitted were then combined to create a digital mosaic image of hands in the shape of a heart located in the Shipyards District.
The second phase of the project saw selected images shared on the digital mosaic, including drawings, paintings and photographs from community members, to form the public art piece by Blake, representing hope and resiliency.
A digital flip book has been created of the more than 700 images and stories submitted by the community and is viewable at North Van Arts’ website.
Charlie Carey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News