Annie Bergen is a local artist, muralist and arts educator. Her work through the Artists in the Schools program brings her from school to school throughout Manitoba, working with students throughout the research, design and painting process of creating murals in order to brighten and beautify their schools. Annie finds much inspiration from her family, their new rural lifestyle and the beautiful nature that surrounds. Also sharing her skills with young people, engaging the community, and collaborating with artists provides an endless supply of inspiration.
Since Annie painted her first mural at 17 years of age, she has painted several large-scale murals in Winnipeg. She particularly enjoys painting murals for several reasons: because of its large scale, painting murals is a very physical work – keeping the body healthy and strong. The research process engages the mind and satisfies the historian within Annie, who graduated from University of Winnipeg with a degree majoring in History. The design process requires her to pull all the pieces together in a creative, meaningful and aesthetically pleasing way. And the end result is something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate – adding color and beauty to urban landscapes.
Mosaic is another art-form that Annie enjoys and has been incorporating into her artwork and community projects. The mosaic mural outside of the Red Road Lodge in Winnipeg – called “Restoration” – is a project that Annie is particularly proud of. Working with family, friends, and various community groups to engage the main street population the creation of a fantastic mosaic/mural, this project incorporates glass, tile, found objects and painted elements. Funded by Manitoba Arts Council and Neighborhoods Alive!, Restoration received mural of the year award for Winnipeg in 2013. In 2014, the mural which Annie painted with the help of Siyee Mann also won the mural of the year award. This project involved kids and various summer youth groups throughout the neighborhood, and is located on an MTS building on Saltar and Burrow).
For the past year, Annie has been working with the Whitemouth River Recreation Commission Inc in order to create an ‘art park’ for Whitemouth – Co-op Community Park. This project has received funded through grants by Community Spaces, Manitoba Arts Council and Sunova, and has offered employment to artistic local community members, and engaging art programs to youth + the community at large. The park features hand painted mural and artwork as well as mosaic elements – created by and for the community. This summer, Annie looks forward to continuing the project which she hopes will act as a catalyst for further creative expressions within the community.