Oct. 6, 2022
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO — The Wilfrid Laurier University Library on Laurier’s Waterloo campus is seeking a talented Indigenous artist or artists group to use a designated area on its southwest outside brick walls as an open-air canvas. The artists will create a mural to honour Indigenous art, culture, stories, and all the relationships so integral to Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing.
The artist or artists must be confirmed members from the Dish with One Spoon Treaty Territory, inclusive of members of either the Three Fires Confederacy or the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The submission date is Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, by 6 p.m. EST. After a shortlist procedure, a decision by jury is scheduled for December.
“The goal is to celebrate Indigenous art and culture, the different forms of knowledge and storytelling in Waterloo Region, to encourage and support cross-cultural awareness and to amplify Laurier’s strong commitment to reconciliation and decolonization,” said Darren Thomas, Laurier associate vice-president of Indigenous Initiatives and associate professor in the Indigenous Studies Program. “But this project also signifies Laurier’s commitment to promoting Indigenous cultural expression beyond the walls of Laurier as well, and recognizes the importance of magnifying First Nations, Inuit, and Métis knowledge, the value of artists in our community and the importance of intercultural exchange.”
The public-facing mural – with dimensions of 22 ft. wide by 40 ft. high and 9 ft. deep – will make a powerful statement of Laurier’s commitment to serve as a catalyst for internal and external community engagement and creative, cultural, and educational interactions in Waterloo Region and beyond.
“The cultural and reputational impact and significance of this project will extend upon its completion and will trigger new avenues for learning, teaching, and discovery, empowering everyone with knowledge of Indigenous presence and history in the Waterloo Region,” said Gohar Ashoughian, Wilfrid Laurier University librarian and archivist. “The Library Indigenous Mural Project is a bold and impactful example of Indigenous placemaking.”
The project is planned to be complete and unveiled by June 21, 2023.
Indigenous artists with experience creating outdoor murals are encouraged to apply.
This mural project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between the Wilfrid Laurier University Library/Robert Langen Art Gallery, Laurier’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Laurier’s internal stakeholders and external community groups.
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