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Sheridan Illustration students’ art showcased in Bronte Village mural

Newsroom authorby Teresa BaergAug 31, 2023

Bronte Mural with studentsFive Sheridan Illustration students have helped foster community connection through their art.

The rich history of the Bronte community was the inspiration for a mural created by the team of five third-and fourth year students, who were tasked with developing the artwork with the theme “The Bronte Community and their Historical Roots.”

The piece of artwork was unveiled in the heart of Oakville, Ont.-based Bronte Village at the Amica Lakeshore development site on Aug. 23. It features milestones in Bronte’s history that tell the story of the evolution of the vibrant harbour community.

The mural is prominently displayed on a section of the construction hoarding surrounding the future site of the retirement home and aims to foster community connection in the vibrant niche area.

The art installation is a collaboration between Sheridan College, Amica Senior Lifestyles and the Bronte Historical Society. The project offered students Amy Chen, Hayoung Kim, Isabelle Stevenson, Grace Vrooman and Lijuan Wang the opportunity to gain real-world work experience and a glimpse into entrepreneurship while building community ties and promoting collaboration between the organizations.

“This project embodies Amica’s approach to serving society and building meaningful relationships that make a difference,” said Alison Keller, Site Development Ambassador at Amica. “We are grateful for this opportunity to partner with the Bronte community and the dedicated and talented illustration students of Sheridan College to bring this beautiful art installation to life. We are proud to collaborate with organizations who not only care about contributing to the community, but to also enriching lives across all generations.”

Students applied for this co-op opportunity as they would for a job, and were required to work 360 to 400 hours over 10 weeks. Amica acted as the client for the project and students took on roles that they might experience in an agency such as project manager and creative director. In a field where illustrators often work independently, the experience helped students learn the professional skills of becoming an entrepreneur while also developing teamwork.

“Everyone on the team was so passionate about the Bronte community and I’m sure that the passion, time and research can be seen in our illustration,” said Isabelle Stevenson, one of the students who worked on the project. “One of the most important skills I learned during this internship is teamwork. Working with other students could have been difficult with clashing ideas and opinions, but I’m so proud of how well we worked with each other and supported one another.”

The students also worked closely with the Bronte Historical Society as they researched archive material and identified six to 10 milestones in the area’s history as a residential community, a commercial district and a recreational destination. They also met with seniors from nearby Amica Bronte Harbour to hear their perspectives and experiences.

The benefits of this type of collaborative program are robust, says Maria Gabriele, Field Supervision, Sheridan’s Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design, who worked behind the scenes to guide and support the students. From enhancing public relations and community engagement to elevating retail and urban environments, Amica and Bronte Village benefit from the expertise of high caliber Sheridan students.

“This enrichment of the students’ education in-turn produces more qualified graduates and enhances Sheridan’s reputation in related industries, in business and in not-for-profit realms, as an institute that produces graduates prepared to contribute to society and the economy from the get-go,” she adds.

The mural will remain in place until construction of Amica Lakeshore starts in November 2023. The illustration will find a new home in the neighbourhood soon after.

Photos courtesy of Phil Babcock

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