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Outreach school artists paint Crowfoot mural

Students at Walshe Crossroads Campus created this mural of Chief Crowfoot. From left: artist-in-residence Carmen Drapeau, youth worker Barb Smith, Riley Three Persons, Tori Pilling, Shonesty Crow Chief, Jasmine Walburger, Wes Morrissette, teacher Karen Krammer, Tenita Sharp Adze, Jay North Peigan and Doug Nelson.

A group of Fort Macleod students have created a mural honouring a legendary First Nations leader.
Students at the newly-named Walshe Crossroads Campus just finished painting the nine foot by 10 foot mural.
“Crowfoot was the chief of all chiefs,” Walshe Crossroads Campus teacher Karen Krammer said. “He is one of the reasons Fort Macleod is here, because he encouraged his people to co-operate with the North West Mounted Police.”
The students at the outreach school originally intended to paint the Chief Crowfoot mural on wood and display it on the north wall of the Grier Block on Second Avenue.
A development application was denied by the municipal planning commission on recommendation from the Fort Macleod Historic Area Design Review Committee.
The MPC ruled the proposed six foot by 24 foot mural mural fit the definition of a sign, and exceeded the size of 50 square feet or 15 per cent of the exterior wall area.
The MPC also ruled the painting is not compatible with the provincial historic district in which the Grier Block is located.
Artist-in-residence Carmen Drapeau said the decision was then made to change the project but still paint the mural.
“They (students) studied Crowfoot last year,” Drapeau said. “He was known for being the big peace-maker.”
An image of Crowfoot enlarged on a projector was traced by the students, who then painted the mural.
“We want earthy colours,” Krammer said. “We wanted colours that represented nature.”
Mixed with the earthy browns are some bright colours, which reflect Crowfoot’s tastes.
“He loved colour,” Krammer said. “We liked to wear colourful clothes.”
In addition to the dominating image of Chief Crowfoot, the mural contains other images chosen by the students that reflect the period in which Crowfoot lived.
Tipis, hoses, hand drums, clubs, buffalo, flowers, crows, an Alberta rose and other images make up the mural.
Student Wes Morrissette chose to paint specific symbols on e of the tipis.
“A wise old man brings peace to the nation,” Wes said, explaining what the symbols spell out.
The image of one of Crowfoot’s three wives is in the bottom right hand corner of the mural.
Students who worked on the mural are Riley Three Person, Tori Pilling, Shonesty Crow Chief, Jasmine Walburger, Wes Morrissette, Tenita Sharp Adze, Jay North Peigan, Cole Polydore, Ryan English, Shavonne English, Trent Crow Chief, Maggie Crow Shoe, Kraig Crow Chief, Jamie Okemaysim, Tabor Twigg, Boss Spotted Bull, Danielle White Quills, Kirsty White Quills, Raven Yellow Face, Keenan Weasel Moccasin, Shavonne Big Throat and T.J. Knowlton.
The mural will be displayed in the Reach building Saturday, June 25 during the Art On Main event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Drapeau said the future of the mural is uncertain, although someone has expressed interest in buying the art work.
Drapeau said prints of the mural will first be made for each of the students.

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