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Master Artist Michelle Loughery - The Wayfinder Project

The Wayfinder Project is the innovation of award winning Master Artist Michelle Loughery.  Michelle is a world renown Canadian Master Artist who has created hundreds of iconic murals and her studio work is sought after by global art collectors. In addition to her obvious talents at producing awe inspiring work, Loughery has developed a unique process that engages and includes community residents-young and old alike. Loughery has created numerous connected community public mural art projects that inspired communities, engaged youth with life and employment skills, connected people and left monumental public art around the globe.

CONTRACT ART AND PROJECT PARTNERSHIP BUILDING

For over 30 years Michelle Loughery award winning world renown Wayfinder Programs have connected communities through community WAYFINDER MURAL creation programs that focused on inclusion, art education, and using the power of  community art to create social and economic legacy projects world wide. International award winning artist has been a pioneer in art placemaking for decades. Her Legacy Projects have created safe places, art communities and social change that have overarching legacies in the people that graced her walls.

“Wayfinder AR:T” is Loughery’s philosophy of using skills taught through public community art in action, as a vehicle to delivering a new effective way of bridging the gap between youth, seniors.  The by product is Wayfinder placemaking signage that defines and moves communities while providing inclusive community building programs.

Loughery’s WAYFINDER  AR:T  has a purpose to beautify communities, support non- profits and small businesses and connect all with an inclusive bridge to help people find their way in life through creative community interactions and art.  Loughery was a pioneer in the mural movement and her work and projects were instrumental in the success of mural tourism and mural art education today. Loughery’s award winning Wayfinder Projects created partnerships that left economic and social impact that has had immeasurable ripple effects both economically and in creating social change.

Wayfinder ARTWORKS digital and place making programs, connect people in our sense of place for social and economic growth in an inclusive legacy building way.

Social change happens when communities go outside their own walls and find creative ways to connect their youth to their seniors and their past to their futures. A unique community mural art training program for youth, artists and creative communities.

Michelle Loughery Wayfinder Program are structured on employment skills and community support procurement engagement.  “Passport to Employment Program,” (created 2001) A Michelle Loughery Murals designed program that gives youth a life skill and employment sustainability plan to move forward to empower and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Societal Impact:

The Youth Mural Program, designed by Master Muralist Michelle Loughery and implemented in communities all over North America for over 25 years, is the epitome of economically viable Public Art. Although the core of the program is to work directly with displaced groups of youth-at-risk, by assisting them in gaining the job and life skills that they require, the program has far-reaching social and economic impacts.

Socially, the program acts as a restorative catalyst and a bridge between marginalized youth and the community as a whole, as it acts to increases community pride and ownership. Moreover, the community witnesses the youth-at-risk creating this revitalization, thus lowering the suspicious and negative attitudes that are often associated with these youth. Vandalism and crime tend to decrease as the peers of the youth participants, and the participants themselves, take ownership over the improvements made to the community.

The signature Michelle Loughery Wayfinder Project combines the art of community based mural or community art creation with the valuable life and employability skills that assist with removing many of the barriers faced by youth and seniors.  By removing these barriers, the Wayfinder Project has been able to assist communities with drastic reduction in public property crimes in areas where the program operates, an increase in community bridging between youth at risk and community members and an 80% rate of success in program participants returning back to school and/or becoming gainfully employed. However it is the secondary benefits of the Wayfinder Project that makes it significantly different from other art based intervention programs. While the Wayfinder Project provides communities with the economic benefits associate with working with local youth at risk, the program also provides communities with the valuable resources and tools necessary to develop or enhance long term economic development and diversification through a proven cultural tourism initiative. Over the past 25 years the Wayfinder Project has helped communities raise millions of dollars while at the same time helping to reduce youth poverty by providing local youth with the skills to achieve their dreams!

Since inception in 1996, nearly 5000 youth have been positively influenced through our community art projects. Many have put to use their new creative confidence by returning to school, creating creative businesses, or gaining employment or apprenticeships in many trade areas. Many have successfully dealt with family and addiction issues and have gone into their futures with better life and creative success plans.

Using community art as a funnel for youth to combine academic and vocational education paths into one. The mural projects have been the catalyst for over 50 million dollars in economic development over the last 20 years. The additional tourism and economic spinoffs of many of the projects has exceeded that by millions.

Community art is the umbrella for which Master trades that youth may not have considered can be experienced while being part of an art change making community Art Action part of the lifelong learning experience. Community youth based art mural projects engage young and old in a multi-generational program that allows all the voices to be heard.

TAKE IT TO THE WALL is a phrase we use on the wall when a youth is having a bad day, or has some issues to deal with…we take it to the wall. We take it out on the wall. We put our pain, our passion and a part of our lives in the wall. This wall provides a safe place where everyone is equal and only the blank canvas is before you.

Partnerships have included: City Of Vernon, The Downtown Vernon Association, The City of Merritt, Merritt Walk of Stars, Viva Cuba Route 66 Mural City, Golden BC Art Council, BC Government, National Crime Prevention of Canada, County Music Capitol of Canada, BC Arts Council, First Nation Steering Committee, SFU, UBC, Surrey School District, The Government of Canada, First Nation Educational Steering Committee, BC ARTS Council, CDIT, Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, CCMA Award Show.

Loughery Mural Artworks is dedicated to preserving, teaching and advancing the study and practice of public art. Each week organizations, communities  schools and hospitals contact us requesting assistance to use WAYFINDER art as a tool to raise awareness, bring people together, celebrate community histories and re-image and engage community spaces.

“It is our collaborative ancient and generational wisdom knowledge and creative skills that will create discovery and foster a strong People, Place and Planet renewal.  Art is the mechanism to learn the skills we need. “   Artist Michelle Loughery

 

Using community art and the Michelle Loughery signature Wayfinder AR:TWORKS (TM)  philosophy to engage youth and communities to learn transferable relevant life, trade, digital and employment skills while helping to build sustainable partnerships and strategies from within people and rural communities.

The community benefits are as huge, as the community murals, and events created. To produce a historic or culture based tool to educate, engage and AS WELL leave a tourism destination tool in a “Wayfinding” senses of place.

Visionary Michelle Loughery brings forward the wisdom of true community passed onto her by her immigrant Canadian roots. Coal mining dust in her veins the sense of community placement through all nations communication was vital for survival in the building of Canada. Those roots have formed a base for her structures artistically socially economically in the innovative community arts programming she developed and the charity she fostered with her amazing team to perpetuate her legacy. 

An inclusive art-based initiative in a multi partnership social economic connection model that uses trend street and community art to attract youth and elders to participate while leaving tourism legacy assets and programming behind.

WAYFINDER AR:T SOCIAL- ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE Solutions:

Loughery’s “WAYFINDER AR:TWORKS Solutions” Community WAYFINDER community art programs have helped many communities create their branding, development, and marketing Art in Action plan using the inventory and themes of history and uniqueness and an innovative “WAYFINDER AR:TWORKS” philosophy to achieve several goals:

Result examples

Vernon BC  27 Heritage Mural Based Downtown Revite. Catalyst for a 6.7 million dollar Downtown rebuild and heritage theme to match Heritage and MLM Wayfinder RC philisophy.An over 8 million dollar renewal program with unmeasurable tourism growth capacity.

ROUTE 66 Mural City 20 million revite catalyst and small town model emulated USA Wide.