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.
Since Annie painted her first mural at 17 years of age, she has painted several large-scale (mostly throughout Manitoba). 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.
For the past couple of years, Annie has been working with the Whitemouth River Recreation Commission Inc in order to create an ‘art park’ for Whitemouth – Co-op Community Trail. This project has received funding 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.
Most recently, Annie has led the creation of a giant, artistic bench for the park – called the ‘Sunova Spot’. This bench was carved out of polystyrene in her home studio, assembled on site, and then the community was invited to help cover the bench’s exterior with tile mosaic. Annie looks forward to exploring this new found skill further, and even incorporating the medium into her murals, in order to create 3-D elements