3 Borrowman Place (2)
This Peace and Justice mural took the students five months to complete. Gordon Bell School is one of the few schools that is recognized by the United Nations for its work in human rights. Each year the school holds its own 'Human Rights Day' a day full of activities and workshops. The event raises both money and awareness for the support and pursuit of justice and security for the peoples of the world.
Location: visible from W side Maryland bet. Portage & Broadway; East Face
Occupant: Gordon Bell High School
District: West End
Artist(s): Gordon Bell High School Students (unsigned)
Sponsors: Mennonite Central Committee
Painters: Jacob Amon, Ashley Anthony, Noni Brynjolson, Lauren DesMarteaux, Samantha Dexter, Bronwyn Dobchuk-Land, Abra Dueck, Ashley Funk, Habon Haga, Josh Williams, Crystal Korzenowski, Lauren Heinrichs, Maggie MacDonald, Erin Proctor, Allison Slessor, Kathryn Slessor, Danna Slessor-Cobb, Alex Stearns, Bosey Man van Dyck, Amy Wilkinson, Josh Williams, Johnny Yang.
Theresa Kuzyk (Art Teacher, Gordon Bell School): "Our school librarian, Judith Dueck
came to me and asked if I wanted to apply for a grant from the Mennonite Central
Committee. They were looking for high school students to do a Mural on the theme of
Peace and Justice. We applied and were successful in getting the grant, which was very
generous of them. One of the criteria was that there had to be many students involved
representing the cultural diversity of Gordon Bell School. That's why there's such a large
group of names here."
The Mennonite Central Committee were pleased to support this project because it not
only facilitated open discussion and promotion of ideals of Peace and Justice amongst
young people but also encouraged the artistic expression of same.
The project itself certainly was cooperative effort with a very culturally diverse group,
with the students organizing themselves into various teams dealing with the different
aspects and/or stages of the Mural. Some did the research on the various symbols for
Justice and Peace; some were involved in the design and/or the actual painting of the six
sections. Where there were multiple submissions as to possible design elements and
colour scheme, the final choices were made by democratic vote.
The Mural features a "blind justice" figure perched atop the globe with the hope that
justice will prevail. A white dove in flight, representing peace and innocence, is flanked
by several other symbols of peace from all over the world: the First Nations 'Circle of
Life', the Chinese Yin-Yang (or Tai-Chi) symbol; the Ancient Asian Peace Symbol (the
three red dots arranged in a triangular shape, said to mean 'Peace: Past, Present and
Future'); the Chinese alphabet character for Peace; an olive wreath (representing the end
of war); an olive branch (good will); a rainbow (a symbol of hope for a better world); the
handshake between those of different races (cooperation and friendship); the hand peace
sign, rainbow ribbon, and the much used logo for the Campaign for Nuclear
Disarmament as a universally used peace symbol. In a printed statement, the students
expressed their wish that "this Mural will serve as a reminder to all who view it that our
world need understanding and acceptance of our differences in order to live in peace and
Theresa: "Different students worked in designing it. It was hard, because it's about peace
and justice which are concepts, not concrete things. This is what they came up with.
It's a real original. They didn't copy anything it was completely their own design. A lot
of the students here are from the Wolseley area and are very socially conscious and will
support a just cause. I just love working with them. Every piece of art from them it
seems has to have a comment on society or about something to better the world. I think a
lot of the parents in this area instill that with their kids. Our Human Rights Day has been
a huge success here. Gordon Bell School has an incredible cultural diversity in its
population and there is a huge ESL (English as a Second Language) program as
"This whole project was done outside of art class all on their own time. It was prepared
in the art room-there were six 4 x 8 sheets of plywood painted and then fit together like a
puzzle. It took a full year to get it painted and installed-it was a lot of money to install it
we had to get a cherry picker-more than the Mural cost and install it into the concrete
high. It was worth it though. It's coated with an expensive finishing coat that will
protect it and so far it's held up very well through our winters."