The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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30 Argyle Street (1)    Location Map

"A History of Argyle School"

Location: Mural is at rear entrance of school and is visible from Disraeli Freeway; West Face

Occupant: Argyle Alternative High School

District: City Centre

Neighbourhood: South Point Douglas

Artist(s): Argyle Alternative High School Students, Annie Bergen, Tom Andrich (Eclectic Fine Art) (all unsigned)

Year: 2007

Painters: Katrina Olson, Krysten Eastman, Stephanie Johnson, Joe Bachynsky, Terrance Montsion, James Ferguson, Samantha Hiebert, Scott Korotash, Clarissa Moonie, Selena Reckseilder, Samantha Nyiro, Allyson Martin, Alexis Melnyk, Tyler Menzies, John Tessier, Darren Stewart-Anonychuk, Spencer Fernando. With assistance from Mike Valcourt. Project Coordinator: Dave Taylor


Annie Bergen: "Myself, Tom Andrich and Mike Valcourt were asked to co-lead a group of Argyle Alternative students in the design and creation of a historical Mural for their school. We met every Wednesday afternoon during the beginning of the school year to gather research and to engage in the process of designing this Mural. During the school's intercession, (a two week period in which students are able to choose an extra-curricular activtity to work towards school credits), we finalized our design and finsihed painting the panels. The result is this lovely Mural on the school's exterior which speaks volumes of the diverse, artistic, and clever students who created it. It was awesome to see the students engage in this common art-project, and I feel lucky to have been part of it. I made some definite connections along the way and I was totally inspired by the student's excitement and energy. I think this project is most valuable to me because i'm certain I learned as the students I was mentoring...if not more."

Katrina Olson (Argyle Student): "The first and most important thing is the Argyle Crest. The school was named after the Duke of Argyle. This was his family crest; and it's outlined in white and blue because those are the school colours. Next we have the igloo which is very symbolic because for many years during the intersession we made igloos. It was a huge part of intercession and what everybody was involved in. There's a statue of Sir William Stephenson, who was the subject of the book A Man Called Intrepid. He was a spy, a double agent and he went to Argyle when it was an elementary school."

"We've got a few buildings in the background, and that marks the progress of Argyle. It started off as a small little schoolhouse on Martha Street. Eventually they moved to this lot and built the bigger building; and then that got torn down so there was a little building built. They put an elementary school in there but it got closed down. The alternative program moved in and we've been here ever since."

"There are a few things in black and white in the Mural. We wanted to show the difference between old and new. One of the most significant things on our Mural is this girl with the tree (bottom centre in foreground). We have a very old cottonwood tree that's been here since 1891. This little girl came on Arbour Day and she was told that there would be this ceremony and that she would get to plant a tree; so she brought her very own tree. She found out that she couldn't plant her tree, so another teacher let her plant it off to the side besides the water pump. It's the only tree that's still standing today."

"There's also a guy with a video camera. There are a lot of great video programs happening here at the school and we wanted to make sure that this got included. There's an artist painting, too. We don't have an arts program here anymore but we used to, and had some great painters with art an important part of the program at Argyle- so we wanted to make sure that was in there."

"Our little hippie girl is there! We started at the end of the 60's as an alternative program, so we wanted someone representative of the era to show how much we've grown over the last 40 years."

"We wanted to make sure to add a symbol for the aboriginal arts and teachings that we've learned because that's a really big part of the programs now so we added both male and female drummers in the scene. And since the mid-seventies, Argyle has had a program for mothers with children and we still have it with 8 mothers with children currently. It's a really good program with an infant land where the kids can stay all day so the mothers can go to school and see their kids. Last but not least we have the student and teacher. Argyle has always been really closely woven with students and teachers having very close relationships because it's a very small class."