Fermor Avenue Pedestrian Underpass
'Onizhishin Aabijijiwan Zhiibaayaabandan -
(Beautiful, Continuous Flow-through)
Establishing shot from library side looking North.
Photos 2-14: Finished sections and detail shots.
Photos 15-19: The Artist Poems
Photos 20-21: The unveiling.
Photos 22-27: In Progress Photos.
Location: pedestrian underpass bet. St. Vital Library and the YMCA
Occupant: Fermor Pedestrian Underpass
District: St. Vital
Artist(s): Mandy van Leeuwen, Franklin Fernando, Glenlawn Collegiate Students (all unsigned)
Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg!, Brian Hayes, City Councillor, City of Winnipeg
Painters: Glenlawn Collegiate Student Artists: Peyton Clark, Anne Zapata, Jaymisyn Santos, Jillian Beaubien. Glenlawn Art Teacher: Cloyd Barth. Student Poets: Zainab Aidi, Nawal Semir, Claire Hill, Aachal Patel, Jaymisyn Santos.
Project Advisor and Knowledge Keeper: Jeannie Whitebird
here To view the informative CTV digital piece filed by Charles LeFebvre.
here to read the EXCELLENT Winnipeg Free Press article filed by Julia-Simon Rutger.
'Onizhishin Aabijijiwan Zhiibaayaabandan'
(Beautiful, Continuous Flow-through)
As titled above, the project received a traditional naming honour by Elder Peter Atkinson, Anishinaabe from Roseau River Anishnaabe First Nation, followed by song and teachings at the unveiling ceremony August 5, 2021.
Mandy van Leeuwen: "It was a privilege and an honour to collaborate on this memorable project. Thank you Jeannie Whitebird, Traditional Helper, Rolling River First Nation, for your friendship, guidance and shared spirit.
The experience was fantastic and I can't say it enough what a transformation such as this one can do for community."
"Recognizing this as an opportunity for a collaboration that builds on reconciliation, one that sees a connection between healing and growth in a path forward.
Informed by demonstration and teachings by Jeannie Whitebird, the artwork features many larger-than-life species and plants found in Manitoba that are often used as medicines within Indigenous communities. Plants such as Muskeg Tea (Labrador Tea), Seneca Root (Snakeroot), Wolfwillow Bush, Weekay (Sweet Flags), Horsetail, Kandamo (Water lily) and Fire weed are among the many plant medicines. Deepening the experience for those who cross through the connecting 120' long pathway, 5 poems were also created by Glenlawn students and are showcased along the expanse."
The Fermor tunnel is a pedestrian pathway that holds a sole purpose of making cnnection and appreciated as a space that also shares in the growth and development of creating a positive artistic work experience. The Mural project was joined with enthusiasm in its creation by students from Glenlawn Collegiate: Peyton Clark, Anne Zapata, Jaymisyn Santos, Jillian Beaubien as well as Art teacher Cloyd Barth and fellow artist, Franklin Fernando."
Jeannie Whitebird (at Mural Unveiling): "I am very honoured to have been asked by
Mandy (van Leeuwen) to collaborate on this project. One of the things I felt was
relevant- not only in times of reconciliation, but also- we're nurturing; we're fostering
these incredible relationships by role modelling with the youth by sharing from myself.
I'm just a traditional helper. I've gained my knowledge from these wonderful knowledge
keepers and elders in my community. What I'm being taught when I go out on the land is
to have that reciprocal respectful relationship with Mother Nature with the land that we
are on and not just doing that land acknowledgement which is very important. But to
also have a relationship with Mother Earth, and to share that view, and to take
"When I walk out, and I take that time out on the land, these are the plants that I see.
These are the ones that are speaking to me. And I thought it was important to incorporate
these plants and then also share a little bit about what those plants do for me; what those
plants can do for other people and what they can do for the community."