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

VIDEO: Scouts in Langley learn how to communicate during emergencies

Weekend event at Camp McLean part of worldwide Jamboree On The Air and Jamboree On The Internet

Halloween on horseback

Langley riders club celebrates the season

ELECTION 18: Langley Township, you chose Jack Froese for mayor

Township voters went with a familiar face, handing incumbent a third term as mayor

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

Newly-elected Lower Mainland mayor won’t drink his city’s tap water

White Rock’s Darryl Walker is concerned about its quality

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Vancouver drag queens receive royal treatment during Kootenay Pride

Vancouver drag queens discuss the importance of Pride and growing acceptance of LGBTQ community

Most Read