Coady International Institute and Sisters of St. Martha Unveil Commissioned Frieze by Local Artist

March 15, 2011

Antigonish, NS – A public unveiling of what might be one of the largest commissioned ceramic art pieces in Nova Scotia took place today, March 15, 2011, at the Coady International Institute on the StFX campus. 

The ceramic frieze, called ‘Making Peace’ weighs approximately 600 pounds and takes up 50 square feet of wall space in the Gogan Family Gathering Hall.
 
“I want to thank the Sisters of St. Martha for their very generous donation,” said  Gord  Cunningham, interim director of the Coady Institute. “’Making Peace’ is a meaningful, inspirational creation that captures what the original Antigonish Movement and today’s Coady are all about – promoting a life of peace and abundance by using local resources to
our collective advantage. We’ll be proud to show this to our world leaders while they’re on campus and to our many friends here in our local community.”
 
Sister Mary MacFarlane, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St. Martha, says the
financial gift was originally made in 2003 to celebrate the 150 th anniversary of St. Francis
Xavier University. “We suggested an artistic creation that would speak to the universal value
of peace and that it be placed within the StFX campus. In a conversation with Coady
administration following the completion of their new facilities, we supported the decision to
commission a ceramic frieze by local artist Fenn Martin. We’re delighted that it is placed
directly across from Desmond Hall.”
 
Visual artist Fenn Martin says the project was a ceramics dream job come true. “My
challenge was to create a visual metaphor for complex ideas like harmony, democracy and
interconnectedness. After a lot of interviews, research and reflection I pulled together wideranging
ideas about peace and how I could tell a universal story that celebrates personal,
historical and international themes. The resulting narrative is a coming together of diverse
peoples to share a meal, to enjoy the much-sought ‘life of abundance’ at the heart of the
Antigonish Movement. It’s an incredible honour to take part in a project of this scale.”
 
The ceramic frieze consists of 27 separate tiles that were styled from clay and fired in Mr.
Martin’s Ohio Valley studio. It measures 10 feet wide, five feet high and varies from three to
five inches in depth. The entire project was funded by a donation from the Sisters of St.
Martha.
 
The strength of the Coady International Institute’s approach is its investment in people and
ideas from around the world. Called ‘a Canadian treasure’ by many, the Coady is worldrenowned
for innovative leadership education programs that promote self-reliance and
practical ways to improve our world. Today, 5,000 Coady graduates are working on the
ground in 130 nations, helping millions of people in the world’s poorest communities to
build better lives for themselves.
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Broadcast version:
One of the largest ceramic art pieces you’ll likely ever see is now on display at the Coady
International Institute.
 
It’s called ‘Making Peace’ - by artist Fenn Martin of Ohio Valley, Antigonish County.
 
It weighs about 600 pounds. It’s almost 10 feet wide and five feet high.
 
The artwork was unveiled today in the Gogan Family Gathering Hall at the Coady Institute.
 
It was commissioned by the Sisters of St. Martha to honour the 150 th anniversary of St.FX
University, and the 50 th anniversary of the Coady Institute.
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For more information:
 
Richard Perry
Media and Communications Officer
Coady International Institute
Tel: (902) 867-4933
Mobile: (902) 870-9662
E-mail: rperry@stfx.ca
 
Fenn Martin
Tel: (902) 863-8190
E-mail: martinfenn@hotmail.com
 
Sr. Mary MacFarlane
Congregational Leader
Sisters of St. Martha
Tel: (902) 863-3113
E-mail: communications@themarthas.com