A new art piece honoring the late Pauline Johnson is being installed in front of the Carnegie building.
A section from one Johnson’s poems, inscribed on granite, will be installed into the sidewalk in front of the building’s staircase.
“Then meet we as one common Brotherhood. In peace and love, with purpose understood,” is the quote that is being placed. This comes from the same poem that Johnson read during the dedication of the Brant monument.
“When you stand on the quote you’ll be able to see the monument that she wrote the poem about,” explained Dr. Kathryn Carter, one of Laurier’s leads behind the project. “It’s a nice legacy that has been happening for hundreds of years here so it roots the whole campus to the arts.”
This project came about as a result of the planned project to extend the sidewalk in front of the building. Since the sidewalk was already being dug up, Laurier thought this would be a great opportunity to produce public art, and poetry in the sidewalk had long been something they had wanted to do.
This project was funded in part by the City of Brantford’s Public Art Reserve Fund. “We tapped into that for funding, and matched it with funds from the university so that it was absolutely a joint project. 50/50 city and university, and that patch of sidewalk is jointly owned by city and university so it worked out well,” Carter said.
The Carnegie building has long been one of downtown Brantford’s more iconic buildings. It was also Laurier’s first building on the Brantford campus, and this art adds to that legacy.
“One of the nice things is in front of the Carnegie building there are names of male writers all over the windows, so we thought it would be nice to have words of a female poet in front,” said Carter.