Signature Grant – UNB

Re-creation project of a lost Fred Ross Mural

Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation partnered with the University of New Brunswick on a re-creation project of a lost Fred Ross Mural. A signature grant of $50,000 was dedicated to the artistic process and installation of the mural in the new Richard J Currie Centre at the university.

Ross Murals on Wall 5.75 x 8The Destruction of War and Rebuilding the World Through Education, a two panel figurative mural originally commissioned as a memorial to fallen graduates of Fredericton High School in 1946, was lost during renovations of the school. Discovery of original cartoons of the work were discovered by Tom Smart at the New Brunswick Museum and subsequently identified by Mr. Ross, sparking a creative collaboration to reproduce the work.

Throughout the winter of 2010, Fred Ross at 85 had the rare opportunity to see a long lost work recreated. Like the Renaissance workshops, Ross served as a master to three artists who laboured to reproduce the murals.

In 1948 Graduates of Fredericton High School commissioned Fred Ross, an emerging talent from Saint John to create a mural for the high school to honour their classmates who were killed in the war. The diptych presented two possible views of the future, one destruction and the other progress and prosperity brought about through education. The mural as a whole is a cautionary tale as the image of nuclear conflagration hangs over both. The Destruction of War and Rebuilding the World Through Education, was a seminal work in the career of the young artist who would become one of Canada’s most respected figurative painters.

Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation is proud to have supported this project which offers generations the opportunity to experience the art and vision of Fred Ross. Congratulations and praise are extended to the artists who made this new work possible, Amy Ash, Sara Griffin and Fred Willar.