Bonny Hill

The Power of One  |  Rotunda Gallery  |  July 7 – September 1, 2023

About The Power of One

This cardboard installation recreates an 1800 piece section of the 14,000 piece public art installation installed on unceded territories near Sussex Middle School in June of 2023 and documented through the accompanying video. 

“Every Child Matters: Phyllis Webstad” is the third in this series of public school projects that promote education, understanding, and support for the Every Child Matters movement through listening directly to survivors and honouring them with a massive portrait based on their childhood photograph.

Phyllis Webstad is a residential school survivor, author, and activist, and the inspiration for Orange Shirt Day, Every Child Matters, and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Artist Biography

Bonny has recently retired from a 31-year career teaching art in public schools. In 2011, she was recognized by the CSEA with the Canadian Art Educator of the Year award. Her teaching was also recognized nationally in 2013 with a first-place finish in DC21YCC Youth Creativity Challenge sponsored by Heritage Canada and provincially with the New Brunswick Teachers Association Credit Union Award for Excellence in Teaching, and, for her community work in the arts sector, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal in 2022.

Her art practice has also been recognized (2017 Surveillance Studio Watch at Beaverbrook Art Gallery) and she has had many solo and group shows in public galleries. Bonny would like to thank the Sheila Hugh MacKay Foundation and Arts Culture NB for supporting her current work.

The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation – Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorship  / Bonny Hill, 2023 

The Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorship program is a Career Development program offered by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation to support exceptional mentorships for New Brunswick professional artists to forward evolving work.

It stems from the vision and philanthropy of professional photographer, Margaret Woodson Nea, who believes “unique personal relationships empower artists to delve deeply into the creative spirit.” 

In 2023, Bonny Hill was chosen to receive a Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorship Award to support an exceptional collaboration with Phyllis Webstad of Williams Lake, British Columbia

Building on a career of impactful, public installation work, Bonny Hill continues to explore important social and environmental issues. Moved by the shocking revelations around the residential schools in Canada, Hill has sought ways to join in a national movement of peace and reconciliation. She has chosen Phyllis Webstad, whose story inspired the national Orange Shirt Day and the Every Child Matters movement, to be her mentor and storyteller. 

“It is a privilege, as a non-indigenous artist, to work with Phyllis Webstad on my journey of understanding and respecting the cultural history of the Indigenous Peoples. My work in public art aims to support the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.” Phyllis Webstad notes, “I have really enjoyed the New Brunswick project and look forward to working  closely with Bonny in the future, getting this work into many more communities as a way of honouring survivors.”

With respect to the private, consultative quality of the mentorship, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation affirms the power of deep exchange between creative minds.