There is great potential in everyone and everything. @jajawoot @FreeOfViolence #sharethejoy

Photo of Janice Abbot, CEO of Atira Womens Resource Society by Eyoalha Baker for the Jump for Joy Photo project

Photo of Janice Abbot, CEO of Atira Womens Resource Society by Eyoalha Baker for the Jump for Joy Photo project

Janice is the powerful force behind Atira Womens Resource Society. I had the honour of not only meeting her, but being supported by her to create the Wall of Joy mural with Atira and BC Housing. I have great admiration and respect for her, and her ability to make things happen and to help people in the DTES of Vancouver. Knowing people like her are out there doing this kind and much needed work to lift people up is a good reason to jump for joy. Thank you Janice!

JANICE ABBOTT …

Q: What makes you jump for joy?
A:
Eyoälha.. 🙂

Q. Your experience doing jumping photos?
A:
A little silly. A little free. A little joyful.

Q: What inspires you in life?
A: My daughter… and all vibrant, intelligent, interesting, ambitious young women, really.

Q: Your greatest passion?
A:
Whatever I am doing in the moment.

Q: Driving Force?
A:
There is a Taoist saying, “the journey is the reward.” There is a Sanskrit saying, “Each today well lived makes yesterday a dream of happiness and tomorrow a vision of hope. Look, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life.” I believe I have to live my life knowing this is all there is and that every moment matters.

Q. Philosophy?
A:
There is great potential in everyone and everything.

Q: Anything in the world?
A:
I am currently doing exactly what I want to be doing and while the work of ending violence against women sometimes feels overwhelming and futile, if you think about it one woman, one child, one man at a time, it feels infinitely possible.

Mini Bio: I grew up in Powell River. The ocean smells like home. While there are lots of things I hate about the sports industry, I love baseball. I inevitably cry when I am reading a book or watching a movie, even happy ones. I don’t stand for the national anthem – any of them. I have a bit of a shoe fetish. I love the rain. I hate coffee. My favourite book is Beloved, by Tony Morrison. I have read every book, short story and poem Margaret Atwood has ever published. My guilty pleasure is reading crime novels, the creepier the better. I am a non-practicing atheist What I want most in life right now is a dog.

CONNECT WITH JANICE
Twitter: @FreeOfViolence @jajawoot
Instagram: @freeofviolence
FB: Atira Womens Resource Society
Web: www.atira.bc.ca

This is Janice Abbott being interviewed by Fiona Forbes at the Wall of Joy mural opening 2015

Surprise yourself, welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity

JR - Jump for Joy Photo by Eyoälha Baker www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com

JR – Jump for Joy Photo by Eyoälha Baker http://www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com



“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”
– Henri Nouwen

When I began approaching people who live in SRO’s (single room occupancies / low income residences), or on the street in the DTES of Vancouver to do jumping photos for my project. I was surprised by the willingness and openness of people who are struggling with all kinds of barriers and struggles in their lives including hunger, homelessness, drug addiction, abuse and mental illness. JR was one of those people who surprised me, he lives in the Arco Hotel which is the building I made the Wall of Joy mural on. He seemed very shy and withdrawn, but when I asked him if he would like to jump for joy for my project – he said yes 🙂 He liked the idea of spreading joy around the world and wanted to take part. This really warmed my heart, and reminded me not to make judgements based on perceived appearances and gave me the opportunity to celebrate more fully in our shared humanity.

Look out for moments that surprise you, and cherish what they reflect back to you about yourself, and humanity.

Much love,

Eyoalha

Eyoalha shares her story + process of creating Jump for Joy Photo Project and murals

Eyoalha Baker speaking at Interesting Vancouver about the creation and process of Jump for joy Photo Project and murals.

Life is very interesting… Eyoalha speaks about creating murals and connecting with community

Life is very interesting…

Today, the talk I did about the Jump for Joy Photo Project / murals at Interesting Vancouver was posted. I was incredibly nervous, emotional and fumbled my way through.. but I did it 🙂

Yesterday, I received a letter from the city letting me know that I have 30 days to repair the mural or it will need to be removed. I may have some funding coming in, and need at least a week of dry weather. I’m asking for an extension in case the funds and money are not in line with the deadline. Will see what happens.

History repeats itself and gives us opportunities for deeper learning and understanding every time. It makes me wonder, maybe the creation of the murals were meant to be temporary and more about the beauty of sharing joy, connecting with people, learning about community and kindness. I’m not sure how this month will play out, I’ll keep on pushing for the repairs but if it doesn’t happen my heart is full with all that the experience creating this work has brought me. I know that either way this is only the beginning of more amazing opportunities to create, connect and experience life in whatever form it takes.

Eyoalha Baker speaking at Interesting Vancouver

Serving to Save the Wall of Joy Mural at Save On Meats

For those who’ve asked when I’ll be serving at Save On Meats

I’ll be in tonight! December 11th + 12th from 4pm.

The 14th is the next Greasy Spoon Diner – not to be missed! A fundraising dinner for A Better Life Foundation (buy tickets through the link)

Dec. 17 from 11:30 to close
18+19 from 4pm

I’m serving + saving up ALL MY TIPS towards much needed Wall of Joy mural repairs so please stop in.

Would love to see you, stop by for a visit, some food and drinks 🙂

Eyoalha selfie jumping photo

Eyoalha selfie jumping photo

VanCityBuzz helping spread the word – support good in the DTES Community – Jump for JOY!

VanCityBuzz - Jump for Joy Photo Project / Eyoalha to serve @ Save On Meats to save for Wall of Joy repairs

VanCityBuzz – Jump for Joy Photo Project / Eyoalha to serve @ Save On Meats to save for Wall of Joy repairs

The good people at VanCityBuzz have once again shown their support to the DTES community and Jump for Joy Photo Project / Wall of Joy mural. I reached out to let them know that I will be serving at Save On Meats over the month of December and saving ALL MY TIPS to make mural repairs and they are helping spread the word. Read the article HERE.

I will have my first official serving shift on Saturday, December 5th. Please stop by to say hello and I’ll be happy to serve you AND you can also pick up some food / clothing TOKENS for those in need at the same time 🙂 Feels good all around!

VanCityBuzz Instagram photo by @Instakram of The Wall of Joy Mural by Eyoalha Baker

VanCityBuzz Instagram photo by @Instakram of The Wall of Joy Mural by Eyoalha Baker

Feeling the love in this Gastown Gazette article about the Wall of Joy by Jill Plant

Gastown Gazette

Fantastic write up in the Gastown Gazette By Jill Plant. I love this article because Jill included several of the people who took part and help create the mural. Nice to have their experience and perspective shared.

Enjoy the entire article here: http://gastowngazette.com/risking-it-all-for-happiness/

Photo of Eyoalha Baker working on the Wall of Joy Mural by Alexandre Legere

Photo of Eyoalha Baker working on the Wall of Joy Mural by Alexandre Legere

The community BBQ in celebration of the Wall of Joy mural is tomorrow, september 9th between 4-6. Please stop by to say hello and meet some of the people jumping for joy on the wall and who helped make this fun project happen.

Welcoming the Wall of Joy to the DTES

Wall of Joy - Community BBQ September 9th 4-6pm. The West wall of the Arco Hotel (facing Abbott St)

Wall of Joy – Community BBQ September 9th 4-6pm. The West wall of the Arco Hotel (facing Abbott St)

Come celebrate with us … Excited to bring all the people (well, most of the people, some will can’t make it and will be missed) together that helped create the Wall of Joy mural. This will be fun!

The mural, located on the West wall of Arco Hotel, an SRO (Single Room Occupancy) building located at 81 West Pender St. Vancouver, will set the scene for a community BBQ celebrating the completion of The Wall of Joy Mural.

http://gastowngazette.com/event/jump-for-joy-community-bbq/

Storm left a little mark on the mural too, repairs already being arranged

Photo damage to mural from the storm by Eyoälha Baker www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com

Photo damage to mural from the storm by Eyoälha Baker http://www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com

We had a few days of intense rain and wind here in Vancouver over the weekend. The storm tore up trees and left many people without power for several days. Once things settled down I went out to check on the Wall of Joy mural and found that a couple of the posters mid way up on the side of the mural had started to come loose – they since have peeled down. The rest of the mural seems to have held up quite well through the storm 🙂

Im now in the process of arranging to replace these two posters. It’s a bit of a process as they are at least 30 ft high. I’ve already had the posters reprinted but also need to put them together and before I can put them up I will need good weather, to rent a scissor lift (they don’t deliver on the weekend), to get the ok from Impark (and maybe the City too.. checking into it) before I can do anything (I may also need to get insurance first). Im hoping to have this all arranged and the repairs done before the opening event next week.

The opening event will be a community BBQ at the mural (located at the corner of Abbott and West Pender Street). We will be there between 4-6pm. Stop by if you can and say hello.

Have a wonderful day!

http://www.eyoalha.com Hire Eyoalha for a photo shoot email: eyoalha@gmail.com

Thank you for Sharing the joy on Instagram and Twitter – The Wall of Joy

Pretty excited to see all the instagram and twitter photos being posted of the Wall of Joy Mural – thank you everyone for sharing the joy 🙂 .. I’ve been reposting a few of them. If you come across any pics of the mural on Instagram of twitter, please tag me and hashtag with #wallofjoy #jumpforjoymural so I can find them and re-share. Especially the ones with people jumping in front of the mural, those ones really make me smile and the wall becomes a fun interactive public art piece. Enjoy!

Here are a few images I found on Instagram:

VanCityBuzz Instagram photo by @Instakram of The Wall of Joy Mural by Eyoalha Baker

VanCityBuzz Instagram photo by @Instakram of The Wall of Joy Mural by Eyoalha Baker

Naweena Instagram

Have a wonderful day!

www.eyoalha.com Hire Eyoalha for a photo shoot email: eyoalha@gmail.com

Photos: 300 people jump for joy at the Downtown Eastside corner of Abbott and Pender by @tlupick @georgiastraight #art #dtes #mural #wallofjoy

The Georgia Straight

The Georgia Straight

Wall of Joy Mural photo by Rick Etkin

Wall of Joy Mural photo by Rick Etkin

Another fanstastic write up about the Wall of Joy mural I’ve just completed with the participation and support of many people all around Vancouver (and the world! I had funds donated from around the world). Really feeling proud and happy to share everyones joy. You can read the article here: http://www.straight.com/blogra/518561/photos-300-people-jump-joy-downtown-eastside-corner-abbott-and-pender

Vancouver mural may make you Jump for Joy By Yvonne Zacharias @VancouverSun #Publicart #dtes #art #Vancouver

The Vancouver Sun

The Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Sun Wall of Joy mural with video interview with Eyoalha Baker

Vancouver Sun Wall of Joy mural with video interview with Eyoalha Baker

Another wonderful write up, and video interview about the Wall of Joy mural in the Vancouver Sun. I was pretty exhausted as I had literally just finished the mural that day, so dont let my mellow demeanour fool you I was beaming with joy about sharing the mural with everyone. Thank you to everyone who is a part of it and helped make it happen 🙂

In the news @24hrs : Wall of Happiness Returns to Vancouver Streets By Patrick Colvin @FreeOfViolence #streetart #Gastown

24hr News article about the Wall of Joy Mural

24hr News article about the Wall of Joy Mural

More news on the Wall of Joy Mural. I love that this article also shares the perspective of Janice Abbott, CEO of Atira Womens Resource Society. Its thanks to her that this mural got the go ahead from the start. She is also responsible for raising more than half of the funding for the project! Forever grateful for the support I felt from everyone at Atira.

You can read the article at this link: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2015/08/26/wall-of-happiness-returns-to-vancouver-streets

Jump for Joy mural brings colour to Downtown Eastside – Metro News Vancouver by Emily Jackson #news #art #mural #Vancouver

MetroNews Vancouver

MetroNews Vancouver

MetroNews Vancouver - detail photo of the mural by Emily Jackson for MetroNews Vancouver Aug. 25, 2015

MetroNews Vancouver – detail photo of the mural by Emily Jackson for MetroNews Vancouver Aug. 25, 2015

Exciting week – The Wall of Joy Mural is finished and all over the news… I am overwhelmed by how beautiful the response has been to the mural. Im touched and humbled. I will post the news articles over the course of the day, there are a few. Love that the celebration of joy has been embraced so full heartedly. Happy, thank you everyone who has participated and contributed to create this work.

Follow this link to read the write up in the MetroNews Vancouver by Emily Jackson from Aug. 25, 2015

www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2015/08/26/jump-for-joy-mural-brightens-downtown-eastside.html

Wall of Joy is nearly done! Come visit – corner of Abbott and W Pender St #mural #Vancouver #Gastown

Wall of Joy mural located at Abbott and West Pender St, Vancouver BC Canada. Photos and mural by Eyoälha Baker www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com

Wall of Joy mural located at Abbott and West Pender St, Vancouver BC Canada. Photos and mural by Eyoälha Baker http://www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com

A few more days and I think I should be done the Wall of Joy mural 🙂 This has been fun. Today is going to be a big challenge as I need to get close to the wall to work, but there is a giant billboard sign in the way… this should be interesting. Wish me luck!

Have a fabulous day!