‘The Land Knows You’ mural decorates downtown Barrie’s pink building

The mural is the newest project by the Downtown Barrie BIA, and was created by artist Alanah Astehtsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell

News release – Downtown Barrie BIA

If you’re walking along the waterfront, you may notice a new view when looking towards Downtown Barrie.

Reflecting back towards Lake Simcoe from the pink building is a new art installation titled ‘The Land Knows You.’

The mural is the newest project by the Downtown Barrie BIA, and was created by artist Alanah Astehtsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell, a mixed French-First Nations artist.

Alanah is Bear Clan from Oneida Nation of the Thames and grew up off-reserve, in Barrie. She currently lives in Kitchener and returns to Barrie often to visit her family. An illustrator, painter and muralist, Alanah’s created for some big names including Roots Canada, Facebook and Instagram and she’s even created a Google doodle.

“We’re honoured and excited to have Alanah’s artwork in Downtown Barrie,” says Sarah Jensen, Communications and Public Realm Coordinator for the Downtown Barrie BIA. “Projects such as this one encourage people to explore and interact with their surroundings, which in turn helps create a more vibrant and safer space.”

The Downtown Barrie BIA is grateful for the generous support of Pratt Homes and their Art Builds Communities partnership, which has allowed us to undertake some big and bold projects this year. The project was also supported by Councilor Sergio Morales and Former Councillor Natalie Harris.

Installed by Owen Signcraft just in time for this weekend’s Santa Claus Parade and the Noella Treelighting celebration, it’ll be a great opportunity for the city of Barrie to see this new installation.

Downtown Barrie BIA New Mural
Photo of the new mural via The Downtown Barrie BIA

In her statement about the work, Alanah explains:

“The sun will teach us about beginning new every day, and the importance of providing light and warmth.

The moon will teach us about the cycles of life and the importance of water. She will teach us that our bodies’ cycles are sacred and will tell us stories of Grandmother Moon.

The stars will teach us about navigation and our ancestor’s journeys across this land. They will tell us about a time, thousands of years ago, when each of our ancestors started as someone living in harmony with each other and with the land.

The bears will teach us about rest, protecting our young and the importance of strength. They will teach us about survival.

The fish will teach us about the depth of the water and the vastness of aquatic life. He will teach us that the water is worth healing and protecting.

The eagles will teach us about wisdom, guidance and a connection to the spirit world. They will tell us about our Creation stories.

The cedars will teach us about standing tall and strong. They will tell us to give thanks for this life and the medicines that are abundant all around us.

The Land Knows You. She has known you since your ancestors thought about the life you will have, 7 generations ago. Do You Know Her?

I want The Land Knows You to bring peace, joy and remembrance. I want it to convince people to honour the life around them and to be thankful that we get to experience life as a physical being, surrounded by so much beauty. I hope that each time someone walks by this mural, they remember where they come from and how loved they are by the Land.”

Banner image via Downtown Barrie BIA