Langley student ceramic art intended to knock people off their feet

Tiles painted by students adorn two new public benches in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

Alex Morranda, a Grade 12 student at Langley Secondary, created a dark blue tile for the project. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Some local high school students were tasked with each painting a ceramic tile that sends out a message of diversity. Now the results are on display for everyone to sit on.

The Benches of Diversity project resulted in a one-of-a-kind public art project that’s also a new public amenity.

The more than 400 handmade tiles created by the students were affixed to two eight-foot long cement benches by local artist Elaine Brewer-White.

“It was so interesting. Some kids just had fun, and some kids were absolutely serious,” she said of the diversity of the tile art.

Students at Langley Secondary, R.E. Mountain Secondary, H.D. Stafford Middle School and a New Westminister school took part.

“It was an interesting story that we we’re telling. There are kids representing every kind of culture in our community,” Brewer-White said. “…And that is a really powerful thing.”

The project started last autumn with Brewer-White creating the tiles in her art studio. The students did their artwork on them then she fired the tiles and arranged them on what are actually massive, upside down cement planters.

Initially only Langley schools were participating but one local school wasn’t able to take part and a friend on Bewer-White’s dragonboat team offered to have her students in New Westminister contribute.

On the Derek Doubleday Arboretum gravel path that runs between 56th Avenue and Fraser Highway, people will come across the colourful benches which were officially unveiled Thursday.

“The project is a celebration of diversity and inclusivity and how it makes us a better community,” said Township Mayor Jack Froese.

An anonymous donation funded the project and the benches were donated to the Township. The Township moved the 2,500 pound cement benches into place with heavy equipment.

Grade 11 LSS student Alex Morranda said students like to walk that area during lunch period so they will get a chance to enjoy them.

Being on the arboretum’s western path, the benches provide the public an opportunity to watch aircraft comings and goings at the Langley Regional Airport or to enjoy the greenspace to the west.

 

Several of the Langley Secondary students who painted tiles joined artist Elaine Brewer-White for the unveiling of the Township’s new diversity benches on May 3. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Langley Secondary Grade 12 student Stephanie Gilchrist created a portrait tile for the project. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Just Posted

The man who gave up law school to work in a homeless shelter

Joshua Medcalf is keynote speaker for 2018 Leadership Superconference at Langley Events Centre

Second Langley man found guilty in $6 million fraud

The co-accused in the Aggressive Roadbuilders fraud admitted his guilt in court.

Man who abducted and assaulted 11-year-old Langley girl has parole rules tightened

Brian Abrosimo made ‘inappropriate and sexualized’ comments

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Langley-based Fraser Valley Fusion 2002A crowned champions in Oregon

Fastpitch team takes Triple Crown Sports Valley South 16U Tournament in Medford

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Aldergrove policing focuses on safety, prevention

RCMP Cpl. Kurt Neuman’s October update from the Community Liaison office

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read