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This article was published 18/8/2015 (551 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A new mural in the heart of Winnipeg’s West End is looking to bring new life to an old space.
The West End BIZ revealed the fruits of its Mural Mentorship program last Thursday — a collaboration of one Fine Arts student at the University of Manitoba and the creative minds of over 60 local children — at the corner of Sargent Avenue and McMicken Street.
"Every year we take a Fine Arts student who works with local area youth and teach them painting skills and an appreciation for art, as well as getting them working on a mural together," Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner, executive director of the West End BIZ, said. "The children’s names are the musical notes on the scroll paper at the bottom of the mural."
The theme of the mural celebrates the music of the world and aims to add to the beautification of the West End, which houses over 70 murals in the neighbourhood.
This year’s mentor, chosen through an application process done by the BIZ, is University of Manitoba fine arts student Danielle Trudeau, who was given the central theme of music for the mural.
"It left a lot of openings for interpretation, so we decided, based on all of the different ethnicities in the West End, the mural would be music-themed but that would capture the ethnicities present in the neighbourhood," Trudeau said. "We chose to represent those with a handful of instruments that are present in those cultures.
"The main component is the instruments, and we tried to centralize them representing the earth. It’s situated over a darkened background that’s supposed to indicate space or galaxy — the universal language."
Trudeau came up with the design of the mural and each of the students who took part in the program had their hand in putting ink on the canvas.
"In the beginning I would explain the theme to them and then we’d go and teach them some basic art skills, and then we’d finish by going to paint on the wall," Trudeau said. The process began back on June 2 and finished up last week.
The location where the new mural stands used to be the home of an office building that was later condemned and demolished by the city. What was left behind, Cardwell-Hoeppner said, was an unappealing empty space.
"We wanted to do something to brighten up that corner and create some beauty and interest in it," Cardwell-Hoeppner said.
The new mural does just that, according to Trudeau.
"It beautifies an otherwise barren area," she said. "It brings a lot of colour to an area that otherwise doesn’t have much and it tends to make the area feel safer. We’ve also found that it deters graffiti."