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

Spartans squeak out pre-season soccer victory in Oregon

Trinity Western’s women’s soccer team plays in Washington today, then at home on Saturday night.

Langley woman’s graduation marks expansion of PTSD service dog program

Delta-based B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs Society and Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs merging to service to more veterans

Bevy of remarkable birthdays celebrated in Aldergrove

Maudie MacPherson (age 101), Vera Banner (91) and Alice Utas (95)

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in parts of Lower Mainland

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

Pond hockey banned in public parks under updated Township bylaw

Public spaces bylaw imposes new restrictions on smoking, possession of drug paraphernalia, geocaching and more

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

VIDEO: World of Magic coming to Vancouver

Seven magic shows will appear at the Vancouver Playhouse from September 7 to 9

Safeway union urgest rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

VIDEO: RibFest kicks off in Langley

Free event features barbecue ribs, chicken, pork and brisket from Canada’s top rib artists

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read