Students piece together mosaic for New Glasgow Academy

Published on June 18, 2014
New Glasgow Junior High students Max van Zyl, left, Caroline Mahoney and Aaron Day take a break from working on a mosaic that will adorn the floor of the lobby of New Glasgow Academy. Students from Acadia Street, Temperance at Brown and New Glasgow Junior High came in shifts to assemble the culturally inclusive design. JOHN BRANNEN – THE NEWS

NEW GLASGOW – New Glasgow Junior High student Aaron Day gets ready to put another small glass tile on in place.

Gold tiles go where the grid is gold, red where the grid is red and so on.

“It’s a lot of hard work and patience,” he said as he put some white glue on another tile.

Day, along with fellow students Caroline Mahoney and Max van Zyl, had been working all day Wednesday on a large mosaic that will adorn the floor of the foyer at New Glasgow Academy.

Like the many tiles coming together to form a complete picture, students from Acadia Street, Temperance at Brown and New Glasgow Junior High came in shifts to assemble the mosaic. Soon, they will all be students at the new school.

The circular design, created by education assistant Helen Boucher, was meant to include and reflect the diversity of the students who will be attending New Glasgow Academy.

“I think that it does a great job of complimenting all the cultures,” said Mahoney.

The mosaic includes drums representing African-Nova Scotians, the eagle representing Mi’kmaq students, the thistle for those of Scottish descent, the New Glasgow ‘flourish’ sun with the paw print of the school’s mascot, the panther. Also included are the Nova Scotia tartan and the school’s colours, emerald green and blue.

Boucher noted the circular design denotes unity and coming together as one.

Van Zyl was happy to be a part of a project that will last for many years to come.

“It’s tough work but working on this is definitely rewarding.”

Gabrielle Cheverie, a visual arts teacher, noted that the aim was to have as many students as possible come to work on this project.

“It’s one of several pieces of art completed or underway for New Glasgow Academy.”

Students and staff came together to create the giant concrete scene of a boat floating down the river with the sun and lion from the Flourish New Glasgow sign. Sculptor Andy Ward has been given the nod to create a totem pole-like carving to represent the three schools that will be closing.

Terry Smith-Lamothe, an architect with Transportation and Infrastructural Renewal, helped students with the mosaic Wednesday, breaking the tiles into smaller pieces for the tight spaces.

“It’s my job to watch over the private architects as they build the school and liaise with the Department of Education and Childhood Development,” he said. “They see value in student-led artwork for the school so we’re ensuring it’s incorporated.”

Smith-Lamothe noted the importance of the permanence of the mosaic, stating that the students are more likely to take ownership in the school having created something for it.

“It’s art taken to a whole new level. This is something the students will be able to show their grandchildren some day.”

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