Tuesday, September 29, 2009

City Council and Maple Leaf Foods Contribute $25,000 Each

Saskatoon City Council last night voted unanimously to provide $25,000 toward the removal and restoration of the murals. Combined with $25,000 already committed by Maple Leaf Foods, we now require only $30,000. We are now beginning a campaign to raise those funds. Excess funds, if any, will be used to fund "Mendel's Murals," a group dedicated to funding new public murals in Saskatoon, in the spirit of Fred Mendel's support of the arts. Ian Hodkinson is scheduled to visit October 20th to perform some preparatory work and interview possible assistants. The removal and restoration will be completed on-site in November.

The Mendel Art Gallery and the University are in talks to determine how the murals will be displayed. Our immediate hope is that the art will be broadly accessible. Over the long term, we hope that the murals can be permanently exhibited in a dedicated room complete with windows and doors configured as the room stands today. This is important because Perehudoff did not create eleven separate murals, but rather he treated the entire room was as a single artwork. Hodkinson suggested that ideally a reconstructed room might serve the same purpose as the original room, which was a seating area in an art gallery. The opportunity to build such a room might arise at a new gallery at River Landing, at the existing Mendel Building, or at a new Performing Arts Centre on campus.