Community. What might seem like a simple word in common language boasts much more - it’s a unification of individuals and groups, and is part of a bigger picture that holds a deeper meaning. For Marc Munan, community is everything. The 64-year-old Edmontonian has been driven by this seemingly simple concept for as long as he can remember. It’s what has motivated and inspired this local artist since his youth to great heights, literally.
Marc is one of four local artists living with schizophrenia that Oilers netminder Ben Scrivens has commissioned to design one of four masks this season. His forte is architectural models and this, paired with his passion for our city, led him to design Edmonton’s cityscape on Scrivens’ new mask, including the CN Tower, City Hall and even buildings his imagination created.
This past week, Scrivens revealed his second mask and much like his first designed by Richard Boulet, it’s an incredible piece of artwork.
“Marc is very talented and his cityscape is amazing to look at. When we discussed the design for this mask it seemed obvious to me to stick to his strengths and Marc decided to do a very vibrant and very alive portrait of Edmonton,” said Scrivens. “It’s just a fantastic piece, there’s a lot of detail that went into it. It’s really well placed and laid out on the mask and I couldn’t be happier with what Marc was able to accomplish.”
The high praise hasn’t been lost on Marc who recalls how wonderful this experience has been for his life as an artist and as a member of our community living with mental health issues. He shared that while there were designing challenges, he appreciated the creative license he was given, but also felt immensely supported by Ben who was always a phone call or lunch date away.
“Finding a way to make the buildings go around the mask was a definite challenge. Buildings are usually vertical or horizontal, but this mask is more or less circular so it was difficult for me to get the right pattern on the mask,” said Munan. “In the month it took to design, Ben was so wonderful and he really helped me tackle these challenges.”
To say that Ben is proud of Marc would be a wild understatement. Scrivens was proud to describe every last detail of the mask noting a few highlights in the North Saskatchewan River complete with the LRT passing above, the downtown scape, townhouse community, midnight stars, moon, and of course, Marc’s unique buildings.
Both Ben and Marc highlighted the importance and vibrancy of ‘community’. It’s the word Marc has placed right across the top under the Oilers logo, but it’s more than that.
“Community is people helping people and to me, we all should have a sense of belonging. Everyone really deserves that,” shared Munan. “Community is very important for people living with mental health issues and we should all be aware of these things going on in our city to achieve that sense of belonging.”
For Scrivens, this theme was integral and really struck a chord with him as well. It speaks to the entire campaign which aims to increase mental health awareness and get people talking.
“Everyone within the community benefits and is healthier when we act as one and look out for each other. The more we talk, the better off we all are.”
For more information on Scrivens’ new masks and his mental health
awareness advocacy, please visit oilersfoundation.ca.