Métis artist Destiny Swiderski transforms back alley into award-winning 'connector'
'It was a dark alley. It was really important for me to create a sense of safety at night and ... a story'
Destiny Swiderski lives to create whether it's tending to an acres of blueberries on Vancouver Island or designing and installing massive public art projects.
Swiderski remembers being presented with the artistic challenge.
"I had this site; it was a dark alley. It was really important for me to create a sense of safety at night and to create a story."
In the mural, more than 150 copper silhouettes of Bohemian waxwings swoop over a lodgepole forest.
Swiderski says she put her heart and soul into a project that took a year from conception to completion.
"This piece was not just going to be about me, it was going to be about the community at large and what they had to say."
"It was very important that I got knowledge holders and elders as collaborators because they were my teachers," Swiderski said.
She gave them some of the birds to personalize.
"All I said to them was 'Tell me your story,' so they drew, they put letters, words of peace and love, so it really talked about what they were feeling about the past, the present and the future," she said.
"I also really needed to make that connection between the rural Beaver Hills Park which is located east of Edmonton and the urban environment where (this) park was placed."
Truchon points to the mural by Alex Janvier at Rogers Place, another by Aaron Paquette at the Grandin LRT station, work by David Garneau taking place now on the Edmonton's Tawatinâ LRT bridge and the construction of a new Indigenous art park.
"I think everywhere you go, it's really nice to see public art and a lot of it talks about the history in the community. Essentially it increases our quality of life," said Truchon.
This month, Swiderski's Beaver Hills House Park mural was recognized by the organization American for the Arts in its year in review of "outstanding" public art projects.