Hassencahl-Perley selected as Pedway Mural artist

Local artist and college instructor, Emma Hassencahl-Perley, has been selected by the City of Fredericton to create a mural for the Fredericton’s 104th Regiment of Foot Bridge located at the end of Carleton Street. Her design will draw upon traditional Wabanaki (People of the Dawn) motifs found in beadwork.

The City recently invited artists to submit designs for a mural to cover the base of the pedway’s second landing as you descend the steps to the riverside trail. Eight submissions from artists or artist groups were considered by a selection committee made up of a member of the City’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee and others from the local arts community.

Emma Hassencahl-Perley, a Wolastoqey (Maliseet) from Tobique First Nation, graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2017. Based in Fredericton, she is a multidisciplinary artist and instructor at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. She has participated in numerous exhibitions and artist talks, and is an emerging curator at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

Emma’s design incorporates brightly-coloured patterns of traditionally-inspired Wabanaki beadwork found on textiles. Inspired by the land, the symmetrical double-curve motif mimics the growth of plant life, the shape of birch bark canoes and the flow of water, as well as the balance found in living with and in the world.

“When clustered, the patterns can refer to family, community and relationships,” explains Hassencahl-Perley. “Using these designs and reimagining them is important to me because they are part of our visual language and identity, as well as emphasizing our connections to the land, animals, water, and each other.”

The eight-sided concrete base is highly visible from multiple angles of the trail, the water, and along Pointe Sainte-Anne Boulevard. The City initiated this mural project as it implements the Culture Plan which seeks to create opportunities for local artists and place art and culture in daily life.

“I am excited about this opportunity,” says Hassencahl-Perley. “As a young artist who feels very connected to this landscape, I believe this mural will be a wonderful opportunity to fuse the worlds of contemporary art, Wabanaki visual culture and the beauty of the river.”

Emma Hassencahl-Perley’s mural is expected to be completed before the end of the summer, subject to weather conditions.