The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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323 Emerson Avenue    Location Map

Location: NW corner Emerson & Hanson; East Face

Occupant: Emerson Elementary School

District: North Kildonan

Neighbourhood: River East

Artist(s): Beverlee Bedford (Dove Design)

Year: 2004


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 for sure!"

"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!"