Medium smp 5030 web

New public artworks installed at Hanwell Park Academy

June 22, 2023

Four New Brunswick artists - Laura Forrester, Chelsea Landry, Karen LeBlanc, and Jean Rooney - were recently commissioned by Arts Culture NB to create public art pieces for the new Hanwell Park Academy.

As part of the NB Public Art Program, a Hanwell Park public art committee reviewed proposals and selected these four projects within a total budget of $50,000. The artists worked in their studios and at the school to develop their pieces.

Fredericton-based artist Laura Forrester's mural, Hanwell Park Academy Mural - Ascension, spans the cafeteria learning stairs. From the bottom of the stairs to the top, the mural tells the stories of students from kindergarten to grade 8 learning, playing and growing together.

Hanwell-based artist Chelsea Landry's New School Collective is a mural on fibreboard near the main entrance. A stylized map of the community, some of the playful imagery in New School Collective includes landmarks, historical figures, children at play, scattered goldfish, colourful dinosaurs, bumblebees, fiddleheads, positive affirmations, popcorn and a cheerful rainbow.

In the library, Fredericton-based artist and weaver Karen LeBlanc installed Suspended in Time: Woven Pages and Wooden Letters, a multi-media piece incorporating a woven "sheet of paper", antique wooden letter blocks and coloured pencils. The piece was inspired by moments of growth, learning and break-through and incorporates the words "make your mark".

French Lake-based artist Jean Rooney created Dawn Chorus for the second floor open learning space. A series of six colourful circular paintings that mimic thought bubbles, Dawn Chorus incorporates local flora and fauna, stylized landscapes and abstract designs. Thirty-two species of local songbirds and backyard birds animate the piece, as well as insects, foxes, and a coyote. Rooney was inspired by Nature-deficit disorder, a recognized condition that can affect people of all ages, and her hope in this artwork is to spark curiosity in the viewer to seek meaningful connections with their local environment.

These four pieces are now permanently installed at Hanwell Park Academy and are part of collectionArtNB.

Established in 2018, the New Brunswick Public Art Policy ensures that a percentage of the budget for new or majorly renovated GNB buildings go toward commissioning original public art by professional NB artists. Stay tuned for spotlights on the public art at Hanwell Park Academy, and keep an eye out for more public art calls from Arts Culture NB in 2023-2024!

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