A new mural at Laurentian University highlights inclusion
A splash of color, a variety of symbols and a great message are now painted on a wall in the Laurentian University Pride office.
“The main thing is the heart – that was the focal point,” said artist and Laurentian student Sam Barry.
“Everyone has a heart and that’s basically what I wanted to convey by using a biological heart. Within the heart is the globe and I wanted it to represent how we all have a heart, we live all on this planet and we are united through this.
Barry said his goal was to encourage people to watch it for a long time by including so many different components.
“I put details like the Black Lives Matter logo, I put a medicine wheel, I put the logo for two-spirited people, I also had the intersex flag on it, and I used the color of practically all the pride flags,” he said. .
“So what really inspired me was the fact that me, being a minority, needed representation and I wanted, in my mural, to have as much representation as possible.”
Laurentian Pride is a group already known for its inclusion in the 2S LGBTQ Plus community, but Pride’s general manager, Ana Tremblay, said she hopes the mural will help them take it further.
“I think it’s really important for people to know that Laurentian Pride isn’t just for students who are part of the LGBTQ Plus community,” she said.
“Laurentian has a lot of diversity. We have international students, mature students, French students, English students, everyone and we want everyone to know that they are welcome and accepted here.
The piece took weeks of planning and between 30 and 40 hours of painting. The goal is to transform the new office into a resource center for all students.
“I know what it’s like to be left out”
“I know what it’s like to be locked out of certain spaces,” Barry said. “I just really wanted to make sure my piece reflected that all identities are welcome.”
At this time, Laurentian students are not on campus, but are expected to return next week. Barry and Laurentian Pride posted photos of the mural online and the response has been nothing but positive.
“I had a flood of people who DMed me, PMed me, just messaged me asking what this meant to me because they wanted to know the thinking behind what I created,” Barry said.
“Some people said it made them cry or it reached them to a specific level that I didn’t think the piece I did would reach them.”
This isn’t the first mural Barry has created. He collaborated on several during his high school days, but he said this one was much bigger and was designed to reach a wider audience.
“It’s really important to me as an Indigenous person reconnecting, as a queer person, as a gender queer person, it was really important for me to see myself and others to see themselves in the work that I do,” he said.
“It’s super important and I think everyone deserves to see each other, especially at their school.”
In addition to the new mural and office space, Laurentian Pride is also gearing up for Pride Week in late March.