323 Emerson Avenue
Location: NW corner Emerson & Hanson; East Face
Occupant: Emerson Elementary School
District: North Kildonan
Neighbourhood: River East
Artist(s): Beverlee Bedford (Dove Design)
Beverlee Bedford: "This Mural came to me through word-of-mouth. The principal of
the school called me up and said that they wanted to do something to commemorate the
25th anniversary of the school. They didn't want to say anything about the anniversary
on the Mural itself because that would date it. He wanted that saying on it: 'Give your
child two things: one is roots, the other wings'. So we decided that we wanted things
that flew and things that grew, and it was is simple as that."
"So the design wasn't hard to come up with. I envisioned a big umbrella tree, and all this
warmth, and kids, and funky little flowers growing, and characters. This was to be for
elementary school kids right up to grade 6; so I felt the design couldn't be too cutesy for
the older kids. It's whimsical, yes; but even the older kids were really excited about it.
One day I had a bunch of grades seven kids come by on their bikes and say to me 'this
sucks- every time we leave a school they do something really neat!' That's a compliment
"This Mural was mostly airbrush. I started at the beginning of June and planned to be
done by the end of the month, but there was so much rain I didn't get finished until mid-
July. The first night the principal kept me company until 3 am while I did the projections
onto the wall. I projected onto the wall in sections- I put the projector on top of my van
and then just drove the van along the wall for each section."
"I had so much fun doing this Mural. I did it during the school year so there was lots of
comments and interaction with the kids. As I was designing it I decided to be silly and I
put a flying pig up in the tree- and the comments from the kids were just hilarious. I intitially
designed it with just a little ladybug. Then I learned from the principal that Emma
the Ladybug was designed by a teacher there several years ago; and that she
eventually became like a school mascot. So Emma was practically the last thing I added to
the wall (she's there on top of the sun), and she's very cute with the big bow in her hair!"
"I'm disappointed that I didn't put a dove in the Mural artwork on Emerson. There seems to be
a dove in almost all my artwork, whether it's intentional or not. I guess it's mostly not
intentional: I did put a lot of birds in that one, but not a dove. But the school were
absolutely happy with the whole wall."
"It was a great place to work. People walk the two streets that line this schoolyard at all
times of day even when I was there at 6:30 in the morning. People were always looking
and some of the residents would come out and talk to me and offer me coffee. I had a
few regular visitors every day. The same kids would keep coming back to see what was
new on the wall that day. The kids' attitude toward the Mural was great!"