The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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190 Houde Drive    Location Map

'School Spirit'


Occupant: Parc La Salle Elementary School

District: St. Norbert

Neighbourhood: Parc La Salle

Artist(s): Michel Saint Hilaire, Mandy van Leeuwen

Year: 2005


Michel St. Hilaire: "We asked the school what sorts of things should be included in the composition of the Mural. They said that soccer was very important to them. Also to show native and other mix of cultures. There is a large number of Native children in this school."

Mandy van Leeuwen: "Imagination, books, song; lots of typical themes you would see for an elementary school; and then taking all of these things and making something fun with it so that the kids can enjoy it and it looks like and is about their school: colourful, happy."

Michel: "One suggestion was people playing soccer in a field with a garden setting, but we decided that's rather plain and has already been done. So we did a whole dollhouse thing with large, large objects: books, soccer ball, flowers, and so on."

Mandy: "And a killer tomato! They loved it right away and thought it was fun! And it was something that the kids could identify with right away and relate to."

Michel: "It was unbelievably hot working here- it's a southwest facing wall with sun exposure all day."

Mandy: "It was miserably hot. We went in two or three days after school was let out for the summer. The kids really gravitated to Michel a lot. If I went for lunch and then came back, he'd be covered in kids! There were kids everywhere and they were all hanging out, interested in what we were doing."

Michel: "We had an audience everyday, skateboarding, talking to us and asking questions. It was lots of fun and community based."

"The school had a bucket lift which they were quite willing to let us use, similar to the ones that the telephone company uses. We tried using it, as they were trying to do us a really big favour that would cut our effort and the overall costs; but we realized that it was way too dangerous. We couldn't even both be in it. Not safe and not practical. Only one of us could go up, and there was not much room in the bucket even for the paint. You can't even bend over as you'd get stuck! We ended up getting a scissors lift.

"I'd like to go back and see this one in the winter because the colours are super-bold."