520 Sargent Avenue
This was one of two Mural Mentorship projects undertaken by the West End BIZ in 2006, this one under the capable guidance of Mentor Allison Chubb.
Location: SW corner Sargent & Young; East Face
Occupant: Mija's Fashions
District: West End
Artist(s): Allison Chubb
Sponsors: West End BIZ, HRSDC Summer Career Placement, ING Direct
Painters: Alexandra, Anna, Betty, Blane, Candy, Caylin, Danielle, Deanna, Elise, Isadore, Jacob, Julia, Kerry, Lydia, Muburek, Natnal, Reggae, Robyn, Roxy, Simone, Suzanne, Troy
Allison Chubb (Mural Mentor): "The West End BIZ gives two choices as to the theme of
the Mural, either Famous People or Heritage and Culture. I thought that heritage and
culture would be a more beneficial theme for the kids and that they'd be able to work
with it much better. Plus, I'm studying intercultural studies, so it's much more relevant
with what I do. I researched to familiarize myself with the other Murals in the West End,
particularly the Mural Mentorship projects from previous summers to see what they did.
I also met with Annie (Bergen, the other Mural Mentor project in 2006) and did some
brainstorming together. So we started the process together and then split off to our
"The Mural is my design. I think my biggest goal for the summer was to teach kids how
to work together. They all came from different cultural backgrounds and age groups. I
wanted to teach them how to work together and overcome their differences. I started
with the idea of the world and I decided that I really wanted to have this globe as part of
the Mural. I started to think about crayons and got the idea to put flags on the crayons."
"We had fun with the houses too. We started out with just one house. I'd done some
sketches of some houses in the West End and I wanted a typical style house of the West
End so that it would be obvious that it was about the West End. But then one of the kids
said 'this house is all on its own' meaning that it wasn't very community oriented. 'The
West End never has one house! Why don't we do a whole row of houses?' And then he
went and drew them all! And then it grew from there with gardens and landscaping for
the houses. It was interesting how the kids brought their own details to the Mural."
"For the flags, I chose Jamaica and Guatamala because Ingrid and Mike who own Mija's
Fashions are from those countries. India, because A Taste of India restaurant is across the
street. We also have the four colours of man (often seen in aboriginal representations)
represented in one of the crayons, Ethiopia because of Pyramid Falafel, the Filipino flag,
Ukraine, Nigeria, Russia, Jordan, Columbia, South Africa, Indonesia and China- all these
a tribute to businesses or people of the area. They were really excited to see their flags
go on there. The crayons still in the box don't have flags: they are just plain kids that
haven't chosen to come out and get involved in their community; so those flags haven't
been developed yet. That's the symbolism."
"The continents are on there, each a different colour. I didn't want the water to be all one
colour so I just let the kids do what they wanted. They did their waves a little different
than I would have! The little guy who painted Antarctica white I don't think was even
six years old. He had never heard of Antarctica before. So it was kind of exciting-
another learning experience. He was learning how to pronounce it and telling everyone
about Antarctica and why it was white!"
"Very few of the kids who helped me had cars in their family and took the bus all the
time, so the West End bus was very much a part of their lives. That's why it's there."
"It was very hot there. The shade didn't come at the wall until 2 pm. We had some
interesting experiences there. I had never done so much painting in my life! Now that
it's over I really miss working with the kids. I think that perhaps this work fulfilled some
part or need in the lives of at least a few of them. I wish I could still be there with them.
I've actually thought about it and I may end up getting a job with Immigration here in
Winnipeg so I can be more involved with kids like these ones."