Mural representing community engagement unveiled at West Rock
© Geraldine Brophy
Corner Brook artist Nancy Jacobsen, right, and Louise McGillis, chair CU Expo 2013 steering committee, unveil the mural.
The spirit of community engagement has been captured on a mural now displayed at the West Rock Community Centre in Corner Brook.
It is the handiwork of many people, even from the far reaches of the world. Grenfell Campus, Memorial University partnered on the mural with the community centre in the Dunfield Park area through the Community University (CU) Expo 2013.
Ben Fitzgerald, executive director of West Rock, said the piece will liven up the centre, which officially opened in October 2012, but will also showcase to its visitors what happens there.
Earlier this week, he told Finance Minister Charlene Johnson during pre-budget consultations that less than 10 per cent of the youth he represents graduate from high school. But that doesn’t lower the goals of the man fighting to better the lives of those in poverty.
“Having the partnership with the university is where we really want these kids to be in 10 to 15 years from now anyway,” Fitzgerald said. “To have that type of partnership with the College (of the North Atlantic), the university and the other academic places was a good fit.”
It was through the vision and collaboration of Corner Brook artist Nancy Jacobsen, a graduate of the Grenfell fine arts program, that brought it all together.
“It was just an absolutely beautiful experience to be here throughout the day for that week and to see the people come and go all day, paint and chat,” said Jacobsen to many of the young people, staff, and community partners who contributed.
“I think these kind of partnerships really do create a community.”
Jacobsen was the director of the artwork that is now displayed high above the recreational room of the community centre. The inspiration came from a community engagement initiative of last year’s Community University Expo held in Corner Brook.
With more than 500 delegates in the city, a part of the expo involved people getting outside the university setting and visiting places throughout the community. One of those places was West Rock.
Louise McGillis said the mural is also a legacy of the expo — something abstract to remember it.
Delegates from around the world who attended the conference contributed to the piece, but so did many young artists from the community. More than 70 people lent a hand to its creation.
The mural states, “A Rock Solid Foundation for Families in Western NL.”