A colourful mural, paying tribute to Saint-Laurent's multiculturalism, has recently enhanced the Norgate sector. Located a stone's throw from the Centre des loisirs, this new creation — entitled Jade et ses homies (Jade and her homies) by Saint-Laurent native and muralist Bryan Beyung — can be admired at 1745, rue Tassé.
This work of art — the ninth mural to grace Saint-Laurent — was created to highlight the contribution of various cultural communities to the Borough's social fabric. Thanks to the peaceful cohabitation of these communities, the Borough is recognized as a model of living together.
"Harmony and respect for diversity are values that are near and dear to the hearts of the members of our Administration. This new mural is a wonderful hymn to our living environment, with its great cultural wealth of women and men who have chosen to make Saint-Laurent their home," stated Alan DeSousa, Mayor of Saint-Laurent.
"A mural is a collective project and a personal expression for living better together. So it is with great enthusiasm that we have encouraged the participation and involvement of our users. This is a great opportunity for Saint-Laurent residents to express themselves on the design of their own living space," added Aicha Guendafa, Director of CARI St-Laurent.
The mural is part of a two-faceted, cultural mediation project. Thanks to the support of the Centre d'accueil et de référence sociale et économique pour les immigrants (CARI St-Laurent), an initial pivotal step was taken when some fifteen Norgate residents agreed to confide and put their memories on paper. In this way, these Saint-Laurent residents opened up about their personal life path and expressed their bonds with their land of welcome, which is what Saint-Laurent represents for them.
Bryan Beyung enhanced his creative process by interviewing residents of the building on rue Tassé. These encounters created fertile ground for reflection, allowing for the emergence of a common community and artistic vision. These exchanges — the last step in the cultural mediation — will in fact be the subject of a video that will be released in the coming weeks.
"My family chose to put down roots in the Norgate area and I spent part of my childhood there,” said Muralist Bryan Beyung. “Jade et ses homies is therefore a very personal work of art that illustrates my vision of this unique sector in Saint-Laurent. Although no one has quite the same background, most of the Norgate residents are immigrants. They live across from each other, one on top of the other, and all are carried along by the rhythm of a new country and a new culture. Because of their proximity and shared challenges, the people who live here have succeeded in developing unique connections, and that is what makes this community so strong."
Jade et ses homies covers two walls. Inspired by a personal photo taken in 1999 at the elementary school Enfant-Soleil in Saint-Laurent, Bryan depicts youngsters from the neighbourhood on the first wall, and on the second, a jade necklace, symbolizing balance, harmony and protection. These are wishes that the artist is expressing to newcomers who will settle in Saint-Laurent.
Jade et ses homies was made possible through the second component of Ville de Montréal's Mural art program and the collaboration of the Kolab non-profit organization, CARI St-Laurent, the Borough of Saint-Laurent and artist Bryan Beyung.
— Borough of Saint-Laurent