Murals created during a mid-August event have mostly been unveiled in the communities of Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ.
“A big thing that we wanted for these pieces was to be accessible,” said Kalina Newmark, co-founder of sponsoring organization Strong People, Strong Communities. “So to be in areas where people can go view it to interact, to have discussion around, that was a big goal of ours — and to see the beauty.”
For Newmark, who co-founded Strong People, Strong Communities with her sister Mahalia Yakeleya Newmark, having the murals finally visible to the public is a powerful experience.
“I think it’s just like an incredible feeling to, one, be part of this community, in this community building through art,” said Newmark. “Then to be able to experience that in-person (at the August painting event) and now to see them actually go up, it’s pretty incredible.”
However, having the murals in place is just one aspect Newmark is happy to see, another is community reactions.
“It’s one thing to be a part of this, right, to have this outcome,” she said. “But the joy, I think, is like getting to see their reactions and hear from the artists how it felt to be a part of this project.”
Newmark’s niece Rose pointed to the subjects in the Strong Families and Communities mural and said, “That’s me.”
“It’s so cool to hear that, that she sees herself in those images, because that was really one of the goals is that we have these positive images of our community and that our children see themselves within these pieces of art,” said Newmark.
Five out of six murals are now on display, with Strong Healthy Elders expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
The murals can be found in the following locations:
-Strong Families and Communities: 45 Kam Lake Rd at the Fieldhouse
-Strong Healthy Men: the Dettah Community Gym
-Strong Healthy Babies and Youth: Kalemi Dene School in Ndilǫ
-Strong People Honouring the LGBTQ2S+ Community: 5112 52 St. at CloudWorks
-Strong Healthy Women: located at corner of 51 Street and Franklin Avenue