The Wall of Joy mural, by artist Eyoälha Baker, was unveiled last year in downtown Vancouver. Unfortunately, the artist says bad weather has been destroying the popular mural, which showcases people jumping out of joy.
To raise funds to save the mural, Baker has partnered with Save On Meats and owner Mark Brand, to campaign for the repairs. Baker will work as a server for all of December in the butcher/diner organization and all of her tips will go towards the repairs. She says she wanted to raise money by doing something more personal, such as working in the place that has helped the community so much.
Baker will also be fundraising through other means; she is currently talking to Chimp, the charitable marketplace, to see if they may be interested in matching the donations.
The mural was expected to last at least three years, but bad weather has made some significant damage. The costs of repairs? Anywhere between $3,500 to $5,000 dollars.
“The reason it’s so expensive is I need to rent a 60-foot lift, 30-feet of fencing around, rent all the parking spaces along the wall, license agreements and insurance that I need to cover, as well as the glue, so it adds up,” said Baker.
She explains she has been approached by many members of the community concerned about saving the mural, especially since they helped this project become a reality.
“Some of the people that live in the SROs are in the mural, so they’re actually very excited they’ll get another chance to make posters with me to fundraise. So it kind of brings people together again,” she said. “They also feel very proud and good to be able to be a part of maintaining it.”
For her the importance of the mural is not preserving her art, but the preservation of the people in it and what they represent. Over 300 people are showcased in her piece.
“It’s a little bit more than just an art piece, it’s actually involvement. It involves the community, it involves people, it brings people together from all different walks of life. I have people in the mural who live on the street as well as successful business owners, artists or students, even the mayor is in there.”
“It’s a true community project,” added Baker.
This is the second Jump for Joy mural Baker has done in Vancouver, but the first one was smaller. Her second one, called Wall of Joy, is almost double in size and is in need of repairs.