Public Art Project and the Catholic Education Centre
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Freedom PrintsThis project is based on the concept that creating art can be inclusive and reflect the community from which it emerges. It is committed to reflecting the ideas and concerns of the diverse population of children and youth in the education community of the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. Because the students engage with social concerns and issues of freedom, the process by which the work is created is very important and is a key part of the project. The intention is to reflect the values and vision of the students in the final works.Madala Paintings

Community-based public art making promotes intellectual and social development. Students engage with the topic and with each other. The process is similar to that of an experienced artist working with apprentices. They learn under the artist’s direction throughout the creative process. In this situation the artist in residence, Elaine Carr, works with teachers and students. The work begins with a concept. Then the students proceed to develop images and designs consistent with their emergent themes. Once the piece is designed, each student becomes involved in a specific piece of the larger project. Throughout the project, students acquire the skills needed to create the work. In addition to acquiring technical and design knowledge, students also learn how to work together on a common project. The work is created through a process of dialogue and consultation with the students and the teacher.

Installation BoxesIn the public art project at the CEC, we developed four main projects in 2005 and 2006. One was a clay relief mural based on the creation story in the Hebrew scripture. Another was a series of 16 installation boxes showing various aspects of life in Essex County. The third involved students in five high schools in the creation of 40 prints on the theme of “Freedom and Justice”. The printmaking was done in response to the visit of Lionel Davis, a former political prisoner on Robben Island, South Africa. The fourth project consisted of two large mandala paintings created by Grade 8 students after studying the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child.

These works are powerful insights into the world of our young people and are installed as public and community art at the Catholic Education Centre.

Projects underway during the 2006-2007 school year have included...

  • The Expedition Africa Project

  • This "PublicART @ the CEC" website

  • The idea for a Public Art Project at the CEC was conceived by Elaine Carr and supported by Senior Administration and Trustees of the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.