Outreach Projects & Murals
"WE ARE ONE LIFE-Integration" Electrical Box Project 2023, Saint John, NB
Over a span of 2 weeks in May I was one of three professional artists working on a project to beautify some of the mundane electrical boxes in the Uptown of Saint John, NB.
The project theme was INTEGRATION in whichever way we chose to interpret it. My design-WE ARE ONE LIFE- celebrates the integration and interconnectedness of all living beings.
The box paintings was a collaboration between Uptown SJ, other city organizations and managed by artist Fabiola Martinez. High school art students also painted a box and celebration events happened at the end of the project with live entertainment and a huge chalk mural that I got to work on as well.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) 2022, Saint John, NB
“Día de los Muertos" is a Mexican festival happening around the end of October honouring the loved ones now dead. There are many cultural events and symbols connected to this time when it is thought the dead and living are at the closest point of meeting again.
The festival in Saint John, NB was organized by Mexican-Canadian artist, Fabiola Martinez. I was one of 8 artists invited to create paintings that bridged our lives and the Mexican tradition. The pieces were displayed under black light as part of the traditional altar. We created a chalk mural to draw viewers into the altar area.
"Always Close” 20”x20” acrylic
In my childhood my grandmother “Nanny” was my confidant. She was my warm place, champion of my causes and supporter of my burdens and explorations. She died when I was 12, at a family home, collapsing in front of me and dying soon after. I have always felt her near me, throughout my life. This painting is based upon a photo of the two of us taken when I was four years old. It hangs in my painting room, always.
The Carty Brothers of Saint John, NB- Forest Hills School 2023
This year I have been working with five classes of grade 6 students at Forest Hills school in East Saint John. They have been doing extensive research about 5 brothers from the Saint John Black community who all served in the 2nd World War and returned home again. My part in their discovering of Black history in the Saint john area was to create 5 individual portraits of these brothers - Gerald, Donald, William, Clyde and Adolphus Carty. We made acrylic skins and layered them onto 2ft.x.3ft. boards as backgrounds. I made a stencil for each portrait and the students took part in stenciling the images onto the collaged skins. I must say that they turned out pretty cool! The kids had a lot of fun creating the skins from poured acrylic paint and later peeling them of the plastic they were poured on. Remember pouring Elmer's school glue onto your hand as a kid and waiting for it to dry and peeling that off? Yup, same satisfaction but with lots of colour!
This Residency project was again funded through the Tourism, Heritage and Culture Dep. of the provincial government. Thank you!
In the Fall of 2021 I received funding through the Tourism, Heritage and Culture Dep. of the provincial government to work with middle school teens at Bayside Middle in Saint John. The idea behind the mosaic glass mural was to express in images the experiences of those students during the Pandemic. We started with discussions about what was difficult and some unexpected perks. One girls said she was happy that she could eat peanut butter sandwiches while doing her online classes! Ah the glass half full. What predominantly came out of our discussions was their lack of time with their friends and the isolation during lockdowns. The students generated images to represent aspects of their experiences and I took these and created 3 possible designs. The children went through a process of analyzing and commenting on the ideas and we eventually came to our final design of the 2 hands reaching out of bubbles, surrounded by Coronaviruses. The students worked with pre-cut glass tile on individual squares of the design. That was then joined together and attached to mdf by me. This past winter we grouted the final piece. It is now waiting for framing. Seems we were so into doing the project that we forgot to take photos of the students! Must be some somewhere.... they did work hard!
I spent time with two Grade 5 classes at Princess Elizabeth School over 2020-21. We got Covid stopped many times. We persevered though and the children experimented with learning how to transfer an image from a photo to their canvas using gridding and how to create shadows and form using shading. We took Mt. LeFoy, by Canadian Lawren Harris, as our painting to emulate.
This Residency was also funded through the Tourism, Heritage and Culture Dep. of the provincial government. Thank you!
Making a mosaic with bottle caps???? That was the School Residency I was contacted to take part in at École des Pionniers in Quispamsis in 2021. With funding through the Tourism, Heritage and Culture Dep. of the provincial government, we were all set. Thank you! The whole school had been collecting various colours and sizes of lids and caps for several years to raise awareness around recycling. (You can't recycle most caps). They wanted to make use of materials that would usually go to the landfill. We created a mosaic version of their school logo and it is now installed on the exterior of the school. That was a LOT OF CAPS.
My School Residencies during 2020-2021 got Covid stopped and started like everything else in the world then. One of my projects was at Milledgeville North school doing a large ceramic tile based mosaic. Thankfully the project deadlines were able to be extended through the Tourism, Heritage and Culture Dep. of the provincial government. Thank you!
The theme was celebrating MULTICULTURALISM. Their school has children from a wide range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Together we went through a design process where students brainstormed symbols and colours that would reflect them. Several ideas were done large and critiqued by them before the final design was decided. They used hand tools to cut ceramic tile to create the mosaic and also did the final grouting. This piece is waiting to be installed at the school.
In 2020-21 I was able to do a school residency at Belleisle Regional High School. This was funded through the Tourism, Heritage and Culture Dep. of the provincial government. Thank you! The theme was close to my heart- the welcoming and safe school environment for children and adults who identify as part of the LGBTQ2 community. The students brainstormed images that could convey this theme and we finally ended up with a beautiful image. The symbol for the high school is the adult bear. The elementary school mascot is the baby bear. In our stained glass mosaic the adult is protecting and loving it's baby. Beautiful. The students cut and ground the stained glass and did the grouting. It is hanging in their library permanently.