The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
  Search by one or more criteria:
  Or browse by location:


Displaying 1-2 of 2


Displaying Locations 587-591 of 732


485 Selkirk Avenue (2)    Location Map

Chandra is a single mother and student at the centre. She worked for close to 3 months on this Mural.

Location: N side bet. Powers & Andrews; rear; East Face

Occupant: U of M Faculty of Social Work; U of W Faculty of Education and Extended Learning

District: North End

Neighbourhood: William Whyte

Artist(s): Chandra Dexter

Year: 2006


Chandra Dexter: "This painting took me two straight months working twelve hour days. I tend to be far too detailed and everything has to be just perfect in order to satisfy me. Often in the past I'd simply run out of time and not finish it. I had taken an art class with a wonderful teacher, Angel Gagnon at Adult Ed. She had an art project for us where we had to do artwork in the style of a certain famous artist that she introduced us to such as Picasso, van Gogh, etc. I studied some of their art and I realized that I can't paint like this. But one of the artists she showed us was Norval Morriseau.. I had never done Native art but the style of art with the thick black outline, curves, points and very bright colours that he uses is SO with what I do."

"So I came up with a sketch and she liked it, so I painted it. It was hanging up on a wall, and this other art teacher who also owned an art gallery was very impressed with it. It had always been his goal to have a Norval Morriseau, and he thought that this was as close as he could get right now! I sold him my painting."

"I am a student here, and when I heard that they were looking for a Mural here and found out what they wanted, I realized that I had little free time to design something and then I thought of this earlier painting I had done which fit the bill perfectly. The Mural is slightly different and gave me a chance to improve the mesh of colours in the piece."

"The Mural experience was great. I'd never done anything like this before. As I worked on it, I would step back to check the part I had just done, but I don't think I ever stepped back and looked at the whole thing until late in the project to see how enormous it was. The canvas piece was only 10" x 10" whereas this was 11' x 11'."

"I did a basic outline on the wall first in June. I used a projector. My problem with the rough stucco on this wall was trying to get my lines to look straight from a distance. The outline didn't turn out perfectly and I would have to make small adjustments later as my work proceeded. It wasn't perfectly symmetrical. In the late stages if some detail was a tiny bit out, I came to realize that I just didn't have the time to make it perfect and I relaxed."

"When I was working on the wall I was a bit worried at first that in this area that maybe people might be offended by a white person doing a native piece of art. Later I realized that day after day there were so many people going down that back lane that stopped to talk to me- it didn't matter what skin colour I had. They had so much respect for what I had done. Everyone had their own meanings and way of identifying with it- what it was and what it meant."

"I researched Norval and the type of art he did, how he drew his animals and the styles he used; but at the same time I wanted to make sure my painting was an original. He did thunderbirds in his drawings, so I wanted my thunderbirds to be MY thunderbirds. I found examples of most of the animals in Norval's style except for fish. I had no idea how to draw fish in a native style. I found a magazine that had some other native artists' rendition of fish so I took from that and interpreted it myself into a Norval style."

"This was done at a point in my life where I had just become a mother to a daughter and my realization that we are all part of a bigger system of the world and that it all keeps going on around you. For me, the centre of that universe at the moment is my daughter. So there's me and my daughter in the centre. The circle with the split in the middle was in many of Norval's paintings and represents the two sided of people- physical and spiritual, and the spiritual connection between them- me and my daughter. Once you get to the land you have trees and plants (2nd innermost circle). Going around that you have all the animals- the animals in the air, in the water and on land. Outside the circle are representations of night and day. I had never found any paintings that Norval had done of night. I asked myself 'how would Norval Morriseau draw stars'. I don't think he would have drawn something with a lot of sharp details, but instead I think we would have drawn something very basic, like his animal outlines are very basic. This is my interpretation of how he would have represented the stars as different sized circles, and the sun. It's that whole circle of life idea, too, you know?"

"It was hot. I could only paint from 9 am to 3 pm when the daycare could look after my baby. I got heat stroke, and it was a real adjustment getting used to working in the sun for that long. At the end of the day, I was never so tired in my entire life."