Some massive artwork from Walpole Island is set to be showcased in Windsor, during the construction of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge.
Walpole Island resident Paul White told the Sydenham Current he was approached by representatives from the bridge in late June of this year.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, White said the team he put together, which includes artists, volunteers and some of the construction crew from his own business, painted a maple leaf and had it sent to Windsor already.
Currently, the crew is working on two more pieces of art, created by Teresa Altiman of Walpole Island, White said.
One of Altiman’s designs is of a bear and cubs and the other is a bald eagle.
White said these two pieces will be 36 feet wide and 26 feet high when completed.
“The whole thing is massive in size,” White told the Sydenham Current at the Walpole Island Sports Complex on Thursday, September 10, 2020, where the pieces of artwork were laid out across the arena floor.
The Walpole Island team came up with the design and the bridge committee interpreted the design for them to make it bigger. The bridge team then provides the Walpole team with the panels to paint the bigger image on, White said.
There are two concrete columns that suspend the bridge being built in Windsor, White said. He added in the meantime, there is form work in place where the art will be displayed for approximately two years, while the rest of the bridge is being completed.
There are about 16 people involved in the art project, all from Walpole Island, except for one person, Naomi Peters from Caldwell First Nation, near Leamington.
White said a committee from the new Windsor bridge asked the two closest native communities to take part and create the artwork.
This portion of the art project has a deadline of the end of September.
After these two pieces are completed, White said they will start on the last two pieces of art designed by Peters, 24, and Daisy White, 17, from Walpole Island.
“They are both fairly young in their careers,” White said.
“This is giving them some big exposure to the art world and have them continue on with what they like to do.”
For more details about the overall Gordie Howe International Bridge project, click here.