Red Deerians become part of photo mosaic

A photo mosaic dedicated to Red Deer to feature 3,000 local residents

A steady stream of Red Deerians embraced the opportunity on Monday to become part of the Canadian Mosaic.

For the past eight years, Red Deer artist and photographer Tim Van Horn has taken more than 54,000 photographic portraits of Canadians in 1,200 communities across the country.

To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary he is creating six large photographic mosaics that will be installed on the south side of the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, facing Heritage Square.

One of the 10-square-foot panels will be dedicated to Red Deer. He already has 2,500 local portraits and hoped to have most of the remaining 500 he needed by the end of the afternoon on Family Day where he was set up at the museum.

Stephanie Aubuchon, 21, was joined by her mother Marcia Aubuchon in adding their faces to the mosaic.

“It’s kind of cool to be part of Red Deer history,” said Stephanie.

Mike Robertson and Shaeden, 12, also posed.

“There’s a lot of people and everybody’s different,” said Mike. “Why not add to the mixture?”

Van Horn said the project has morphed into something special over the years.

“It’s been turning into this beautiful look at our cultural identity, our collective humanity.

When he has finished photographing in Red Deer, its dedicated panel will be the largest portrait ever created of its citizens, he said.

In meeting and preserving the likenesses of tens of thousands of Canadians, Van Horn has learned a little about our nation.

“The recurring theme I’ve seen with the Canadian public is we are world citizens. We’e very liberal, we’ve very open-minded, we’re quick to adapt.

“The mosaic reinforces the fact that we are this beautiful, multicultural society,” he said.

“We allow everyone to come here and everyone respects our values and tweaks their own values to fit in.

“We’re the envy of the world right now and we need to look at what we have as being important and we need to take care of it.

“It’s not always going to be there if we don’t do something about nurturing it.”

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