Aaron Paquette is a First Nations Métis artist, novelist and speaker. He frequently holds, participates in and speaks at workshops and information sessions, and he engages in community outreach on a number of issues and subjects related to civic, national and social development. Aaron’s mural work can be seen at Grandin Station, the Strathcona County Museum and various schools throughout Edmonton and Alberta. Aaron grew up in Mill Woods, attending Ekota and Grace Martin Elementary Schools, Edith Rogers Junior High, and J Percy Page High School. He has watched the development of Mill Woods with keen interest over the years and is excited to be included in this project.
Artistic commission: Aaron Paquette has been invited to produce a single, cohesive work that helps increase understanding and appreciation of the history of Mill Woods. The piece will speak to diverse cultures, experiences and age groups. Ideally, the piece will be a standalone work that can also be duplicated in parts as each ‘part’ will tell the story of a place. For example, Knottwood might have its own narrative that inspires a single artwork, etc. All the individual artworks will join together to form the whole, completed, ‘Mill Woods’ work. In essence, each story could stand on its own, but also be combined to form an entire narrative. The look of the piece and the actual physical materials to be used will be determined based upon on the collection of historical research, community outreach, mapping and so on. The initial thoughts are that it might be a form of sculptural bas-relief/layers, possibly constructed of 1/8 to 1/4 inch steel cutouts and enamelled with colour, one could then ‘layer’ the narrative with regard to timelines, immigration waves, intersecting and parallel stories, etc. The choice of construction material could allow for either hanging or standalone sculpture.