story begins with Sonia Djevalikian, a mother with a sick
child, who was at the Montreal Children's Hospital and who
fell in love with the interactive wall mural titled "Once
Upon A Time..." "Il était une fois..."
mural is located in the outpatients' wing of the Montreal
Children's Hospital and was painted in 1994 by members of
our Guild (MADP).
to see pics of the Interactive Wall project at the Montreal
also happens to be the Kirkland Library director. She decided
that this was just the kind of thing that the youth section
of the library needed, especially since it was being refurbished
for 2009. She and Lise Labrosse, director of public affairs
and town clerk, approached Suzanne Bélair, a member
of our Guild, with the idea of us painting a mural for them.
2008, thirty-five of the thirty-eight members present at
our monthly meeting signed up to take part. Suzanne relayed
the good news to Sonia, who agreed to come and meet with
us during our March meeting.
numerous books and examples that conveyed her vision of
what the mural could look like. She also distributed a list
of themes and styles. They were looking for something timeless
and joyful to appeal to the children and their parents,
while brightening the place. They thanked us numerous times
and assured us of their and the city's support. Their enthusiasm
was contagious and everybody left the meeting optimistic
and cheerful. Seven
more volunteers had signed up that Tuesday morning. We were
now forty-two members involved in this exciting project.
who volunteered to co-ordinate the project, met with Sonia
and Lise a few days later to start discussing the nuts and
bolts. The wall being painted was aproximately 8 feet tall
by 26 feet long. The actual mural would be painted on panels,
so that the painting could be done in another adjacent room
and moved into place when the renovations were completed.
Suzanne began gathering information concerning materials
and costs, as the project needed to be approved by city
council so that it could move forward. She also began getting
in touch with the volunteers to see what each of us would
like to do and what times we would be available. The first
design team was formed, composed of Ayn Pidwell, Val Cole,
Gale Numme, Cindy Fournier, Debbie Gagnon, Claudie Cardin,
Johann Law, Suzanne Bélair and Donna McGee.
the person responsible for the Youth section at the Kirkland
Library, came and presented her ideas and expectations to
this first design team on May 20th. The presentation included
some pictures of what was done elsewhere and a list of storybook
characters the library wished to see included in the mural.
This was followed by a meeting at the Kirkland Library on
May 27th, to gather all the ideas we had come up with. A
smaller circle of people was then formed to draw and design
the mural. Debbie was put in charge of coordinating the
design. She, Claudie, Johann, Donna and Suzanne went to
work researching different artists' renditions of the storybook
characters chosen by our members and/or suggested by the
design group met again at Debbie's house on June 12th to
start the process, brainstorm the design some more and separate
the panels to draw amongst themselves. This was followed
by another meeting on June 17th to start unifying their
vision (some elements started on one panel and were to finish
on another). Many, many e-mails went back and forth with
copies of books, backgrounds, fairies, animals, etc. - a
lot of hours and a lot of fun.
the panels were brought to Debbie's house. She then went
to work to integrate the different panels, putting in many
more hours, changing scales to harmonize, moving some things
around and adjusting the design to arrive at a first draft.
She did an impressive and fantastic job with it.
On July 17th, 2008 Suzanne and Debbie went to the library
to present our first draft to Sonia, the library team, Lise,
the mayor and two councillors. All were extremely impressed,
grateful and enthusiastic.
At that point,
Sonia started working on the copyrights for some of the
characters. By October, most of the copyright permissions
had come in but a few did not and so some of the elements
of the mural had to be redesigned. The library requested
a free-standing wall which required some additional planning.
The subject of color was also an issue because we had to
reflect the artists' renditions of certain characters depicted
in the mural, while keeping an overall harmony.
organized the painting schedule, Anne Rivet took care of
the purchasing of supplies, and Cindy Fournier did the accounting.
In November a team was formed to handle color - Claudie
Cardin, Donna McGee and Val Cole. Design modifications and
adjustments were handled by Suzanne Bélair with the
help of Johann Law.
While working out colors, we saw that the design was far
from being completed and had to undergo many additional
changes. New characters were added and scenes were modified.
A lot of brainstorming sessions ensued to finally arrive
at a design we were satisfied with, while meeting the library's
and December, we worked on a small scale reproduction of
the mural in order to get an overall visual of the finished
product. The color team went to work with the delicate task
of reproducing colors for copyrighted characters and working
out the other colors in order to harmonize and balance the
mural. More people joined in this process.
above is the small-scale mock-up of the design. It underwent
minor changes throughout the project.
the end of January, the design was ready to be transferred
see pics of painting the mural, please click
here. Don't miss it - all your favorite
storybook characters come to life!
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Community Projects, please click on "Community Projects"
at the top of this page.