ATA wraps up centennial celebration, honours Albertans this World Teachers’ Day

October 4, 2018

The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) will mark the official end of its 100th anniversary celebration with the dedication of a unique sculpture to the people of Alberta. Coinciding with World Teachers’ Day, the brief public dedication ceremony will take place on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature at 10 AM on Friday, October 5th.

“Since its inception, a main job of the ATA has been to advance the cause of education in this province,” said ATA president Greg Jeffery. “We now have done that for more than 100 years, and we’ve done it with the backing of Albertans. We want to bring them into the fold this World Teachers’ Day and thank them for their passionate and continuous support of something that is at the very core of our members' values—public education.”

The sculpture, called The Garden, is a collaboration between sculptor Richard Tosczak, artist Jacob Dutton and actor/writer Rollie Pemberton. Forged in Corten steel and bronze, and tree-like in form, The Garden features a dynamic composition of seven student faces and the incorporation of a poem of the same name. Symbolically, it speaks to the vital relationships between teachers, students and their communities. 

“Our interconnectedness is foundational to a hopeful future, and this monument speaks to the value placed on educators who tend to the needs of the individual while maintaining a growing, healthy group culture,” said Tosczak.

The Garden was installed this past weekend on the legislature building grounds and will be accepted on behalf of Albertans by Education Minister David Eggen.

“This new sculpture celebrates all of the incredible people who teach students to reach for their dreams,” said Minister Eggen. “It’s fitting to unveil this new sculpture on World Teachers’ Day to remind future generations of the contributions of our teachers and all that they do to make life better for our students.”
The ATA president, Minister Eggen and the artists will be available for comment following the dedication ceremony.

See the attached backgrounder for details on the event, sculpture and artists.



ATA World Teachers’ Day Celebration and Public Dedication Ceremony

Public Dedication Ceremony (click for full program) 
Time: 10:00–10:45 AM
Location: East side of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta grounds, near 107 Street and just north of 97 Avenue 
Parking: Paid parking available on 99 Avenue between 108 and 107 Street, and the lot between the Federal Building and the Annex Building on 107 Street between 99 and 97 Avenue 

Media availability: 10:45–11:45 AM
Available for comment will be Education Minister David Eggen, ATA President Greg Jeffery, and artists Jacob Dutton, Rollie Pemberton and Richard Tosczak.

About The Garden 

The Garden was commissioned by the Association and its 100th Anniversary Celebration Committee in October 2017. It was fabricated by Behrends Group.

Creative Team: Jacob Dutton, Rollie Pemberton and Richard Tosczak
Media: Corten steel and bronze 
Dimensions: 14' × 15'3" ×14'4" 

About the Artists

Jacob Dutton (b 1994, Edmonton, Alberta) 
Dutton is an artist currently based in Edmonton, Alberta. His practice looks at the ways that identity is built within a culture where personal faults are tackled through mechanisms that optimistically fail.

Roland “Rollie” Pemberton (b 1986, Edmonton) 
Pemberton is a rapper, producer, journalist and poet currently based in Toronto. Under the artist name Cadence Weapon, Pemberton has released four albums, two of which were shortlist nominees for the Polaris Music Prize. Pemberton served as Poet Laureate of Edmonton from 2009 to 2011. Pemberton’s poem “Monuments (The City in Three Parts)” was commissioned by the City of Edmonton and has functioned as a public art installation on flags hanging along Edmonton’s Jasper Avenue since 2011. In 2016, he was the narrator and writer for the VICELAND television series Payday and a lecture host at Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal. 

Richard Tosczak (b 1966, St Mard, Belgium) 
Toscak is an Edmonton-based figurative sculptor. He studied philosophy and modernist sculpture, working in steel, at the University of Alberta. Richard pursued further artistic training in the Loire Valley with Martine Vaugel, first director of figurative sculpture at the New York Academy of Art. Richard’s creative work is rooted in the expressiveness of the living form. In his current practice, Richard uses quick pen and ink figure studies as source material for sculptures and larger works on canvas. In this exploratory mode, sculptures are modelled or constructed exclusively from a single drawing. This way of working combines the rigorous formalism of his early training, observation and a figurative vocabulary he continues to develop. 

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