Elaine Brewer-White spearheaded the Benches of Diversity project. Working with more than 400 students from Langley and New Westminster, and an assistant, Cindy Murphy, the team compiled two mosaic benches made of hundreds of self portraits. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

VIDEO: Benches of Diversity unveiled at Derek Doubleday Arboretum

Mosaic art pieces created by artist Elaine Brewer-White and more than 400 students

A Fort Langley artist, who spearheaded the Township’s first rainbow crosswalk, is continuing to promote diversity and inclusivity in the community through art.

Working with more than 400 students from Langley and New Westminster, Elaine-Brewer White has created two mosaic “Benches of Diversity” and gifted them to the Township in support of its arts and cultural services plan.

The eight-foot concrete benches — which were unveiled at Derek Doubleday Arboretum on May 3 — feature hundreds of individual ceramic tiles that students in Grades 6 to 12 painted with self-portraits, and words and images of diversity. Brewer-White and her assistant, Cindy Murphy, then pieced the tiles together to form the two benches.

READ MORE: Rainbow crosswalk unveiled in Fort Langley

“Each tile was painstakingly done by these students. Some students only had about an hour and a half, some students worked on it for weeks at a time because it was so important to them to present themselves,”said Brewer-White during the official unveiling ceremony.

“There are kids representing every kind of culture in our community, from beautiful girls with long eyelashes, to kids with rainbows behind them, to girls wearing hijabs. And that is a really powerful statement to me, and that’s what we need to make our community strong. We need to have all these different communities come together and pull each other up, and that’s what Langley is to me.”

Locally, students from R. E. Mountain Secondary, Langley Secondary School and H.D. Stafford Middle School took part.

At Langley Secondary, the students had just one block in their Grade 11/12 ceramics class to create their tiles.

“I think it’s cool that it’s all very individual. You have to do your own self portrait, so it’s cool to see all the faces and pictures (come together),” said Tanya Velikajne, a Grade 12 student who attended the unveiling ceremony.

“I think it’s cool to see everyone’s interpretations of art all in one project together, it shows that it’s diverse,” said Raquel De Leon, a Grade 11 student.

“Everyone had the same project, but we all came out with such different products, and that shows diversity itself,” added Stephanie Gilchrist, a Grade 12 student.

The project was made possible by an anonymous donor, who made a late donation of $5,000 to the GoFundMe campaign for the rainbow crosswalk.

“I’m really impressed with the effort and talent demonstrated by the students, and grateful to Ms. Brewer-White for initiating and undertaking this project,” said Mayor Jack Froese during the ceremony.

“People will see and sit on these benches for years to come, and I hope they will enjoy the artistry, and reflect on diversity and the need for inclusivity and acceptance in our community.”



entertainment@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Students from Langley Secondary School, along with artist Elaine Brewer-White, Mayor Jack Froese and Councillor Angie Quaale, unveiled the Benches of Diversity at Derek Doubleday Arboretum. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Raquel De Leon Gonzalez, a Grade 11 student at Langley Secondary School, points to the tile she contributed to the Benches of Diversity project. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Just Posted

Photos: Blackberry bliss

Kids and adults alike enjoy berry good samples of treats at the Blackberry Bake-Off

Serious collision in South Surrey

One to hospital with serious injuries; 16 Avenue remains closed

VIDEO: Langley RCMP officer and brother lead Amazing Race Canada Heroes Edition

Courtney and Taylor Callens have become the team to beat

Teri James to run again for Langley City Council

‘I feel I have a lot to contribute’

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Metro Vancouver water reservoirs in ‘good shape’

Reserves sitting at 70-per-cent full, officials said, despite long stretch without major rain

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Most Read