News / Edmonton

Public to put stamp on new Edmonton art project

The public will be invited to put their own designs to the birds as part of this public art project.

Supplied

The public will be invited to put their own designs to the birds as part of this public art project.

A public art workshop on Saturday will live up to it’s name allowing people to add their own touch to a new mural project for the Beaver Hills House Park.

The workshop, led by Winnipeg-born Métis artist Destiny Swiderski, will be held at the Drawing Room Studios and Salon on 97 Street. Participants are encouraged to tell their own story through textile drawings and colouring inside bird-shaped profiles, which will ultimately be silk-screened onto steel birds and attached to the Beaver Hills House Park wall.

“It was important to me that it be a public participation-type project, one that’s not simply about the artist,” says Swiderski. “The idea here is to give the people of Edmonton a voice.”

In planning the project, Swiderski conducted extensive research into the park’s namesake hills, located east of Edmonton, which she discovered were an important migratory site for the Bohemian waxwing bird. The mural in the park downtown will consist of 146 bird silhouettes, each inscribed with project participants’ designs.

While the workshop is open to all participants, the project has placed a heavy emphasis on indigenous voices. Cultural guidance for the project was provided by Elder Jerry Saddleback of the Samson Cree First Nation, who provided the Cree language text (in both Latin and Cree syllabics) for the mural.

“The idea behind this project was to create a gateway into the park,” Swiderski explains. “With this mural, we will literally have the community welcoming people in by way of the bird motifs.”

The workshop will be held at the Drawing Room (10253 97 St.) on Saturday, March 5 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Those interested in participating should register at info@drawingroomedmonton.com.