Imagine putting your heart and soul into a large mural in the Downtown Eastside, only to have an unforgiving windstorm damage portions of it.
That’s what happened to local artist Eyoälha Baker, who’s work on the Jump for Joy on Pender and Abbott was undone by the summer windstorm.
It struck just as she was putting the finishing touches on the 100 by 65 foot Wall of Joy on September 1st.
“The timing of the storm didn’t help at all, and subsequent rain since then has kept it going.”
She says community support is inspiring her to work at Save On Meats for a few nights a week on her own dime to raise the funds to fix it.
“I know that waitressing, I’m basically just doing it out of my own pocket, but that’s how much it means to me. The way that it’s affected people in the Downtown East Side it’s just so overwhelmingly beautiful the way that respond to it.”
Baker says the response she got from the neighbourhood to the piece is what motivated her to repair it.
“At the opening event I had people thanking me and giving me gifts and telling me it made them happy. Some people even said it changed their lives. It’s been incredibly positive, moving, and heart opening.”
“I want it to be up for a while, and I want them to be able to appreciate it and be proud of it.”
She estimates she needs to raise at least $3,500 dollars to fix the damage.
Her tips will go to the repairs, but she’s also encouraging patrons to buy tokens at Save on meats, which go towards meals for those in need.
Watch Eyoälha Baker describe the piece in her own words: