Andy Prest Feb 15, 2021 4:59 PM

Access the original article on the North Shore News website here: https://www.nsnews.com/amp/local-arts/you-can-contribute-to-this-pandemic-public-art-project-in-north-vancouver-3419840

NV City Mosaic PM web
Artists Sophie Babeanu (left) and Sandrine Pelissier are co-ordinating a public art project taking images submitted by City of North Vancouver residents that will be inserted into a tiled public art piece within a photo of the waterfront.▲
CNV Mosaic - web
The North Van City Mosaic project invites residents to submit images that will be used as the building blocks for this photo of the waterfront.▲
A tile submitted for the mosaic project shows a slice of life for a family navigating the long-term care system during the COVID era.
Expressive art therapist Sophie Babeanu and visual artist Sandrine Pelissier make up the team behind the North Van City Mosaic project.

Each individual tile tells its own tale, but put them all together and you’ve got a picture that tells a full story.

That is the underlying concept of North Van City Mosaic, an ongoing North Van Arts project that gives anyone who lives, works or plays in the City of North Vancouver the chance to submit an image related to their life during COVID-19 for inclusion in a vast digital mosaic. The individual tiles submitted by the public are inserted into a large photo of the North Vancouver waterfront, the many little pieces contributing to a unified whole.

“You can see a mosaic almost as a metaphor for a community where you have people living next to each other, like the little tiles, but everything makes a whole picture, a whole community,” said Sandrine Pelissier, a North Vancouver visual artist who has teamed with expressive art therapist Sophie Babeanu to co-ordinate the project, which is run under the umbrella of the City of North Vancouver’s Mayor’s Healthiest Small City Social Resiliency Collective.

The art-loving duo behind the project want to make it very clear, however, that you don’t need to be a talented artist to make a submission. Any artwork, any photo can be used to create your piece of the mosaic puzzle.

“Everybody is an artist,” said Pelissier. “You don’t need to be super skilled to be allowed to express yourself. … We are trying to get people not to be intimidated by the idea of participating.”

So far they have received more than 200 submissions, but there are thousands more spaces in the mosaic that they’d like to see filled. Making a submission is as easy as going onto the project’s website, filling in a short form and then uploading the image. Participants can include their name with their submission if they like, or make it anonymously.  

“You could go participate now,” said Pelissier with a laugh.

“It’s easy, it doesn’t take a lot of time,” added Babeanu. “If people don’t want to spend a day drawing something than can use a picture they already have. They can do a stick figure. We don’t care. Every submission is welcome. It’s easy and it’s fast.”

The mosaic updates in real time, so after you make a submission you get the instant gratification of seeing your piece pop up on the screen.

There are lots of ways for the public to observe the submissions as well, scrolling through them like a book, or using a search function to pinpoint keywords, themes or the names of the artists.

The project’s co-ordinators say it’s a powerful experience for them to see the images people are submitting to document their pandemic struggles and triumphs.

“For us it’s quite beautiful to see how people are living during these weird times,” said Babeanu. “And we relate a lot to what they are saying, we can really relate to our fellow North Vancouverites. It’s humbling as well. … It’s rewarding.”

Many of the submissions share similar themes as people struggle to cope with pandemic problems or share little pieces of their new quarantine quirks.  

“For me what stands out is the common experience and the individuality at the same time,” said Pelissier. “You feel that we all share the same struggles – it gives a sense of community in a way.”

The project is live now and will likely run as long as COVID-19 is a concern – at least until this fall. When the online Mosaic is complete the project will move on to a second phase with an artist commissioned to create a piece of tile art featuring submissions from the public. That piece will be permanently displayed at a yet-to-be-determined location in the City of North Vancouver.

The artists are hoping the online mosaic and accompanying public art piece will provide a snapshot of these strange times that will endure for years to come.

“It’ll stay as a testimony of what it was like to be here in 2020 and 2021,” said Babeanu, adding that people are still studying the original mosaics that were created in ancient Rome thousands of years ago. “The old mosaics were documenting their lifestyle and what was happening during that time. And our mosaic is documenting how we are living right now, today, in our environment and our circumstances.”

The simple act of creating something can be a powerful force at times like these, said Babeanu.

“Art is helping people really cope with and make sense of what they are living, and in that sense it gives them more resilience,” she said. “When people are looking at the art they are touched by it, and when they are making it they are saying, ‘look, this is how I feel, this is how I see my world.’”

North Van City Mosaic: Bringing our Community Together in Response to COVID-19 is a community public art project developed by leadership representatives from Family Services, North Shore Neighbourhood House, North Van Arts, North Vancouver School District and United Way, under the umbrella of the Mayor’s Healthiest Small City Social Resiliency Collective.

The project was one of five quick-starts to respond to gaps in the community’s social infrastructure that were illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The North Van City Mosaic will creatively engage our community to create an image of their COVID-19 story. Professional artists work with the community’s images to create a digital mosaic website and physical artworks, programmed in two phases.

The goals of the North Van City Mosaic are to create a legacy for the community to reflect, understand, inspire others, and articulate the impacts of the pandemic through artistic expression, while building resiliency, connection, and hope.

In Phase I, local visual artist Sandrine Pelissier and expressive art therapist Sophie Babeanu employ their original online mosaic concept, developed with the technical help of Relevant Software, to invite members of the public to collaborate in building an online digital mosaic.

Anyone who either lives, works, or plays in the City of North Vancouver can
contribute by submitting an image of a drawing, painting, or photograph, along with an optional description, that represents their experience living in the time of COVID-19.

The online digital mosaic creates a platform to share a ‘common’ thought, invite memory sharing, and experience multi-generational interactions; allowing for a wide audience to participate safely during social distancing.


In Phase II, the images collected through the online digital mosaic will be utilized to create other community public art pieces for people to gather and reflect on this extraordinary period for years to come. Participants of Phase I of the North Van City Mosaic will be notified via email of upcoming announcements for Phase II community public art projects.


Stay in touch for updates!

The Arts in View program is a permanent exhibit on display in the financial spa® branches of BlueShore Financial. It is open to the general public as well as current clients of BlueShore Financial.

I am very happy to have 3 paintings on display in the BlueShore Financial branch at Lonsdale and 15th.

My work has been paired with sculptures by wood artist Federico Méndez Castro (@dalbergia_world) and I really like how the sculptures and the paintings are complementing each other.

The show is curated by Cathy Church (@tartooful) and will be on display until January 2021.

Yahoo !!⁠
The commission triptych I made for Canadian Business Growth Funds has been installed in their board room in Toronto.⁠

We selected the painting color palette together so it would add a touch of brightness while fitting in with the rest of the room colors. They have great lighting in that room so I am very happy with the way it turned out.⁠

Thanks CBGF for this opportunity :)⁠


northvancouver #vancouver #mixedmedia #inspiredbynature #landscapeart #naturelover #wip #natureinspired #natureart #naturepainting #paintingtrees #yvrart #landscapeartist #canadian #madeincanada #ontario #art #artist #artwork #painting #artoninstagram #originalart⁠

Saturday July 4, 2020

#openstudios #northvancouverart #artisnotcancelled #vancouverartist #northvancouver #yvrart #sandrinepelissier #firstsaturday #northvan #artstudio #bcartists #firstsaturdayopenstudios

I will open my studio for the First Saturday Open Studios from noon to 5 pm on Saturday July 4. Contact me to visit, I will make sure no more than 2 visitors are in the studio at the same time and we will be social distancing .

The city of North Vancouver is handling buckets of hope all other the city.

What’s in them? Sidewalk chalk, temporary tattoos…

So today with the help of Therese Joseph, Sophie Babeanu and Charlotte Pelissier, we painted patterned hearts in front of cityscape so everyone can color in with the chalks.

If you walk up or down Lonsdale, feel free to pick up some chalks and color !

https://youtu.be/vyKkJAW8R1Y

#bucketsofhope #lovemycity #playcnv #sandrinepelissier #northvanarts @thecityofnorthvan.⁠

This year, I will be part of the North Shore Art Crawl in my studio, with a selection of paintings, original linoprints and drawings:

125 Garden Avenue in North Vancouver

It is an anonymous art show so I can’t show you the finished paintings but here are a few sneak peeks :

And here are a few pictures of the show from previous years, opening night is usually quite busy!

I am very happy to exhibit some of my flower paintings in the upcoming Ensemble show at the ACT Art Gallery :

Now in its 9th year, the concept of this exhibition is to give each artist the opportunity to show a small collection of artworks that are related by one or several unifying elements such as theme, medium, size, etc

Opening Reception:                      Saturday, November 2 from 2-4pm.

The show is up until December 19, 2019

ACT Gallery

The ACT Art Gallery
11944 Haney Place
V2X 6G1