Becky Thiessen with Knowles Centre
Location: Bunn's Creek Parkway
Medium: Digital Collage on Dibond
This community public art project will be installed along Bunn’s Creek Trail this fall. It is a collaborative effort of Knowles Centre, artist Becky Thiessen, the Winnipeg Arts Council, John G Stewart school, and the City of Winnipeg Parks and Open Space Division with project support from Councillor Jeff Browaty.
The artwork is a series of trail signs featuring traditional and contemporary responses to the Seven Teachings created by youth who attend the nearby John G. Stewart School and Knowles Centre Programs. Bunn’s Creek provides the youth with a connection to the land that is critical to their spiritual well-being. They embrace the opportunity to walk, cycle, and run the trail daily. Not only is it a place for study about the vital connections between plants and animals and the world around them, it is also an escape where they can be alone or connect with their peers, mentors, and teachers.
Travelling east to west, you will see traditional wood carvings of animals created by John G. Stewart School students with Educational Assistant Rob Unik. The carvings represent the Seven Sacred Teachings of the Annishinaabe. The staff and students share a commitment to the Journey of Reconciliation, rooted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and guided by the City of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord. Students are taught that each teaching honours one of the basic virtues that are necessary for a full and healthy life. The teachings are embodied by animals to underscore that all actions and decisions impact the land and all of its inhabitants.
Travelling west to east, you will see contemporary digital collages by Becky Thiessen with artwork created by Knowles Centre youth. Working together through the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Youth WITH ART community public art program, they experimented with a range of materials and techniques to create individual art pieces which they transformed into collaborative collages in response to each of the teachings. The youth’s intelligence and thoughtfulness are apparent in the art-making process and you are invited to share in this as you follow the trail.
Thank you Emily, Katelynn, Grace, Alyiah, Marissa, Gladys, Izzy, Kaydence, Taylor, Kaylee, Gavin, Maria, Cassie, Shaelyn, Anna, Mason, Sterling, Phoenix and Samuel for sharing your talents. Thank you Becky Thiessen, Pam Jansen, Rob Unik, Trevor Holroyd, Dan Kulas and Troy Fontaine (Biimautaziiwin Cultural Program) for your guidance.
CANSTAR Community News, posted August 17, 2018: Public art project helps kids flourish, Youth collaborated on artwork to be installed along Bunn’s Creek pathway
Becky Thiessen is a community-based artist. She experiments with others through painting, drawing, textiles, assemblage, sculpture, and digital media. Her inspiration often comes from the enthusiasm of others in the communities in which she works.
Knowles Centre is a community-based, non-profit social service agency for children, adolescents and young adults facing difficult times in their lives. Their mission is to help young people and their families to address past struggles, to develop healthier relationships and ways of life, and to reach their full potential in the future.