Valentine Day art fosters creativity between communties and culture

A special Valentine’s Day workshop was held in Bathurst Saturday to foster creativity, and celebrate love between two communities.

Workshop teaches the significance and meaning of mandalas

Artist Phyllis Grant held a Valentine's Day art workshop to celebrate love between two communities and foster creativity. (CBC)

A special Valentine's Day workshop was held in Bathurst Saturday to foster creativity, and celebrate love between two communities.

About two dozen people showed up for the workshop, where they were shown how to make "mandala-style" valentines.

Artist Phyllis Grant and her father, Gilbert Sewell, a Mi'kmaq elder from the Pabineau First Nation, explained the significance of a mandala to those attending the workshop.

"I researched circle art, and of course I came across mandala art. I got fascinated with it. It's a whole world, it's universal, and so many cultures practice mandala art," said Grant.

Each circle and line inside the mandala holds significance and special meaning for different cultures including the Mi'kmaq culture.

Gilbert Sewell is an elder from the Pabineau First Nation. (CBC)
Sewell showed those in attendance the seven campfires inside the circle.

"Truth, justice, wisdom, honesty and so on...these are each teachings," said Sewell.

Sewell is a well-respected storyteller in the area and has been helping foster relationships between the Pabineau First Nation and Bathurst. It is something his daughter wants to continue.

"I'm sharing where I come from with another group of people from all different cultures so it's this intercultural thing connecting people," said Grant.

"To me, that's community building in action, and to see that, it makes me emotional."