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This article was published 3/7/2017 (1663 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
About 650 tiles painted by Portage la Prairie residents make up a colourful mosaic gracing the north exterior wall of Stride Place (245 Royal Rd. S) in Portage.
The mosaic, part of a nationwide Canada 150 mosaic project, was unveiled by Portage deputy mayor Brent Budz, Portage Regional Recreation Authority staff and members of the Public Art Committee that oversaw the mosaic’s creation.
A fox, snowflake, soccer player, and sailboat are a few of the images on the individual 12x8-inch tiles that combine to form larger images of an Indigenous man portaging, a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star training jet, Canada geese, a Red River cart and bulrushes and a canola crop. The tableau is placed in the image of a box car and the entire piece is 12x8 feet.
Public Art Committee member Carole Lupkowski said each of the mosaics created by the 150 communities across Canada will be linked online to form what looks like a train by the end of the year. The completed art pieces can be viewed at http://canada150mosaic.com
Lupkowski said the Portage project began in 2015 when the national project was announced and communities were invited to sign up and apply for a $10,000 grant. The Portage mosaic cost about $24,500 with the money excluding the grant coming from business and private donations.
"We started by doing a survey across Portage la Prairie and asking what symbols represent our community," she said.
Local artist Lewis Lavoie designed the entire piece and ensured that the background colour of each individual tile was the correct shade needed to form the larger images.
A painting session was held from Nov. 2 to 5, 2016 at Stride Place and members of the public were able to paint a tiled in return for a donation. Students from local schools took part as did RCMP members and many other community members, Lupkowski said.
The finished mosaic has been sealed and should be able to withstand weather conditions.
Artist working on personal goal
Portage la Prairie artist Yvette Cuthbert is creating one painting to mark each of the 150 years that have passed since Canada’s Confederation in a Celebrate Canada series.
As of June 27, Cuthbert had painted 100 12x12-inch canvases in primarily red acrylic paint with stencils used to preserve white space. Her paintings capture images including iconic national and local landscapes, people and animals.
Some of her paintings were displayed at Stride Place and the Portage & District Arts Centre on Canada Day. A show featuring the entire 150 pieces is planned in the PDAC board room gallery from Sept. 19 to Oct. 8.
Cuthbert said she welcomes suggestions on subjects for her paintings.
"I still have 50 more to go."
Cuthbert can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Vital community correspondent
Andrea Geary is a community correspondent for St. Vital and was once the community journalist for The Headliner.