Up Here is putting the electric in electric utility boxes this year with the introduction of the Power Up Project!  They’ve partnered with the Social Planning Council and Greater Sudbury Utilities to bring colour to electrical utility boxes within the downtown core. The Power Up Project will give canvasses to 24 local artists, including 12 curated by Up Here and 12 from youth organizations partnering with the Social Planning Council.

We spoke to a few of the Power Up Project artists curated by Up Here to learn a bit more about their work. Here you are, the Power Up Project artists, in their own words!

Kallie Berens-Firth

Where are you from?
I am from Sudbury!

How would you describe your art?
Shapes and colours that remind me of my childhood... especially weird spacey images that happen when you press on your eyes too hard.

What inspires you?
Ukrainian folk art first and foremost. My sister, Maya Hayuk, Labrona, Super Mundane are my artist heroes.

How long have you been art-ing?
I really enjoyed taking art in high school but my teacher didn't really like it when I went against the grain too much so I ended up barely passing. Kind of left off from there until my third year of university when I lived in St. John's, NL for a year. I felt super isolated and depressed being away from my entire family and all of my friends on an icy, windy island. So I decided to pick up a pack of acrylic paints and paint empty pickle jars in my house to put flowers in to brighten up my cloudy apartment. This was in 2013 I think.

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
I hope my piece makes little kids stare at it for a while and enjoying the weird crowdedness of it. I also hope cool women use it as a backdrop for empowering social media snapshots.

Last thoughts?
I think that Up Here is awesome and that I am very extremely enormously excited that I was chosen to paint this year amongst some of Sudbury's most talented artists. So stoked to see what everyone else comes up with!

Hobby Rollin

Where are you from?
Sudbury, ON.

How long have you been art-ing?
Been doing paintings by commission for 10+ years with many non-monetary art projects throughout those years.

Last thoughts?
Glad to have been asked to be a part of Up Here’s art.

Melanie Gail St-Pierre

Where are you from?
Sudbury, Ontario, currently residing in Toronto, Ontario.

How would you describe your art?
Artwork that has a big sentimental heart.

What inspires you?
The things, people and places I see everyday. I'll try to turn my day to day routine into something artistic like incorporating something I see on my walk home from work everyday into my artwork. I really love the small things.

How long have you been art-ing?
Ever since I was in elementary school. If anyone ever needed any creative help I was always the go to person.

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
I'm painting a Garlic Festival inspired mural on the box outside of where the festival is held. There was word of it being cancelled this year and the public was very upset and in shock about this (myself included). A lot of us grew up going to the festival or have been going to it for years. My family and I always attend and eat everything in sight, buy a lot of garlic and watch all the performances. I look around and I see my friends that volunteer every year making crafts with the children, the happiest faces you'll ever see and the smell of some of the best homemade food around. I associate it with some of the best memories I had while living in Sudbury and I just wanted to do something for them to show them how much the community cares about all their hard work and dedication.

Sonia Ekiyor-Katimi

Where are you from?
I’m from Nigeria.

How would you describe your art?
My work is usually expression of my nightmares, observations and/or obsessions at a given time period.

What inspires you?
I'd say everything I encounter but I'm always particularly inspired by identity politics, beautiful women and whatever colour composition I randomly become obsessed with for a period of time (right now its red, black and white together). I'm also really inspired by botanical aspects of nature as well as small, beautiful bugs.

How long have you been art-ing?
I've been making art since I was a child which I think everyone can relate to but I only started consciously doing so when I was 15.

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
I hope that I can represent the beauty of certain types of people who are usually represented according to stereotypes in their normal, individualistic self instead. I hope that people can feel related to tiny moments of existence that I decide are important to me.

Last thoughts?
It's important to me to acknowledge the little changes and growths I go through and to capture moments that make me feel a lot even when they seem small or cliché.

Odinamaad/Isaac narciso Weber

Where are you from?
I'm from many places but would I call my Henvey Inlet First Nations my home turf.

How would you describe your art?
Woodland expressionism abstraction.

What inspires you?
Passion love and resilience versus colonization and racist discourse.

How long have you been art-ing?
Since conception.

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
Establish Indigenous visual representation in Sudbury.

Last thoughts?
Look out for more indigenous art in town because if it was up to me we are going to explore all the options to get art out and in the public view and reinstate that art traditional history/wisdom storytelling will be a part of our identity living on these territories like the Anishinabek have for thousands of years.

Scott Minor

Where are you from?
From Earth.

How would you describe your art?
My work explores the relationship between mathematical formulas and urban space.

What inspires you?
I think what I ate that day.

How long have you been art-ing?
As soon as I could express myself.

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
A greater appreciation of the spaces downtown. Sudbury is a beautiful place, but only if we make it one.

Dani Ellis

Where are you from?
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, raised in Sudbury, now living in Markstay!

How would you describe your art?
Artistic exploration of people, dreams and legends in visual stories or comic form.

What inspires you?
People around me, dreams, ideas/philosophy, stories and metaphysical/hypothetical sciences!

How long have you been art-ing?
20 years.

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
To get people to look a little closer, delve a little deeper, and solve mysteries right in front of them.

Last thoughts?
I have a comic that is free to read at: www.thedreamargument.com, or you can find me on Facebook at Dani Ellis - Art and Illustration.

Julieanne Steedman

Where are you from?
I grew up in Lively (ON) spent 10 years travelling and living around the globe, and have since returned to Northern Ontario where I split my time between my home in Nairn Centre and my camp on Manitoulin Island.

How would you describe your art?
My colour-filled acrylic and watercolour painting depicts my strong love for life here in the north.

What inspires you?
The changing of the seasons, travel, everyday life with my family, canoeing out on the lake, collaborating with creative people...life here in the north.

How long have you been art-ing?
I have been making things pretty much forever. Painting since my early twenties, and really taking my art seriously for the last two years.

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
I hope that my piece inspires people to think a little deeper about what they see everyday. It is so easy to see the negative, ugly side of everyday life - I think that your perspective, and how you choose to see things deeply impacts how much beauty and happiness you'll enjoy in your life.

Last thoughts?
I love Instagram as a way to share and collaborate - I enjoy hearing feedback in work in progress. You can also find me on Facebook. I'd love to hear what folks think about my hydro box!

Bianca Lefebvre

Where are you from?
Sudbury

How would you describe your art?
It's either really messy or meticulously perfected, there's no in between.

What inspires you?
Tom Haugomat is the cream cheese to my bagel.

How long have you been art-ing?
I used to take art classes at the Sudbury Art Gallery. I wanna say I started art-ing at age 5.

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
To brighten the area up, spread a little joy and nostalgia for people to enjoy.

Madison (Mady) Kotyluk

Where are you from?
Sudbury

What inspires you?
My Dad for the fine arts and trying to create new styles of digital arts.

How long have you been art-ing?
My whole life.....16 years!

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
On each side of the box I painted a natural scene from Sudbury, in four different seasons. The four natural scenes I picked are Kivi Park, Bell Park, Moonlight Beach and Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. Also on top of the box I put some special words that you will be able to see from Google earth one day!

Matti Lehtelä 

Where are you from?
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Earth, Milky Way

How would you describe your art?
Dreamy, kaleidoscope of colours.

What inspires you?
Everything around me from the mundane and ordinary to the obscure works of far off artists. I think it's important to always stay open to new ideas and inspirations, and that means keeping interests varied and many so that I'm always discovering something new and interesting!

How long have you been art-ing?
Ever since I can remember! Always have been drawn to colouring, drawing, painting, designing and all forms of visual mediums!

What do you hope your piece accomplishes?
I hope that it looks cool and beckons the odd and the ordinary to hang around a bit and slow things down.

Last thoughts?
Everything is temporary, enjoy the good times while you're still in them.