Twenty-six students, ages 13 to 18, and from the different schools in Manitoba, have collaboratively expressed their visions of human rights through their visual exhibits “ARTiculate Our Rights” at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The thought-provoking outdoor art exhibition is in recognition of the 150th Anniversary of the Manitoba province joining the confederation.
The CHMR historic visual exhibition on the current goings-on about human rights, from the eyes and minds of the youth, came into fusion with an idea brought by Larry Vickar, president and CEO of Vickar Autogroup Inc. when he saw a Florida exhibit, “Embracing Our Differences,” and the idea to have the same theme for Winnipeg’ exhibition would be possible.

Mena Gainpaulsingh, CEO, Friends of CMHR, upon knowing it, was inspired to adapt it for an outdoor exhibition on human rights.

Young students were involved and there were more than 100 submissions received by CHMR. The winning entries were judged by a panel of jurists namely: Candace Lipischak, Multidisciplinary Métis Artist; Mercedes Maduka, Artist; Connie Wyatt-Anderson, Educator, Northern Manitoba; Jackie Wild, Manitoba 150 Representative; Karine Duhamel, Curator, Indigenous Content, CMHR; Lise Pinkos, Manager, Education and Professional Programs.

The paintings touch on many current themes like equality, privacy, freedom of expression, LGBTQ2+ and non-binary rights, missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, accessibility, mental health, and other current topical issues on human rights.

The outdoor painting exhibit, with thirteen large installations opened last July 15 and open for an outdoor visual tour until October 2020.

The Vickar Automotive Group headed by Larry Vickar provided seed money for “ARTiculate Our Rights.

Larry Vickar shared, “I and Tova were extremely pleased that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, unique in the world and the only Canadian national museum outside Ottawa, chose to feature this concept for enhancing Human Rights through the eyes and minds of the children, our future, as their project to honour the Manitoba’s 150 birthday celebration.

Diversity in all its forms: religious, ethnic, skin colour, geographical, sexual persuasion, and more when discussed and as it is here presented visually through the eyes of school age children serves to build a better understanding between all peoples; and leads to a better society, better educated, and more tolerant of our differences as neighbours locally, nationally and internationally. Our hope is that this exhibit is just another helpful tool in building a better understanding in our world family of peoples.”

“In this thought-provoking exhibition, young Manitobans share their visions for the future of human rights,” said CMHR spokesperson Maureen Fitzhenry. “Their artworks cover a range of issues that impact us all, from equality and gender rights to disability and mental health issues, activism, privacy and voting rights. It’s a wonderful way to mark the 150th anniversary of Manitoba becoming a province of Canada, since youth represent our hopes for the future.”

Gainspualsingh stated: “I’d like to recognize The Forks and Parks Canada for allowing us to use their space for this exhibition. And, in addition, I’d like to thank PCL Construction and Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd. for their generous support.”

Larry Vickar notes that the hope is that eventually the ARTiculate Our Rights exhibit will tour across Canada. “That would be very exciting,” Larry said.

The following twenty-six young student artists include: Carissa Tran, Gurleen Kalsi, Bonnie Chan, Fizza Arshad, Kennedy McColm, John Harold Darato, Azra Hrncic, Flora Easter,Anna Mitcher, Sarah LeBlanc, Emily Perrier, Sara Tronrud, Cyrus Teja, Leena Hutchison, Ennessa Danais-Small, Vanessa Bardet, Curtis Tomas, Xandria Griffiths, Maria Hermida, Mila Marchand, Madelyn Eismendi, Naomi Nagtegaal, Carrie Wang, Celeste Dupuis, Abraxias Gardiner-Collins and Sherris Douglas.

Credit: CMHR/ Jessica Sigurdson