As Newfoundland and Labrador’s leading innovation hub, the Genesis Centre is committed to fostering creativity and helping propel the province forward with innovative new ideas by its ever-growing entrepreneurial community. When the Genesis team moved to Memorial University’s Signal Hill Campus, there was no doubt that their new collaborative, community-minded space called for some unique artwork that helped reflect those same ideals, while calling to mind the beauty of the surrounding environment.
“When Genesis moved to our new home on Signal Hill, we also rebranded! We were looking for creative ways to decorate our new space that fit the new brand and a mural was something that really caught our eye,” says Megan Dobbin, Community Engagement Coordinator at Genesis.
As Genesis supports entrepreneurs in the province, Dobbin says the decision to have a local artist create the piece was “a no brainer.” Ultimately, artist Julie Lewis (of Sassy Tuna Studio) was chosen. Besides being an amazing artist, Dobbin says, Lewis is also the founder of the tech start-up Art Sharks and went through Genesis’ Evolution program – an eight-week accelerator program for early-stage start-ups.
“She is also a member of our Women in Technology Peer Group. So we were really excited to go with Julie because she understands what Genesis is doing and understands the local start-up scene here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” Dobbin says.
Geneis and Lewis worked together throughout the design process, Dobbin says, with Lewis translating their ideas into a “beautiful and symbolic piece” which represents the “three Ps” of Genesis: People, Place and Program.
“People are represented as the figures you can see on their journey up Signal Hill towards Genesis in the Battery (Emera Innovation Exchange) and beyond. Place is represented by having the mural be set on Signal Hill showcasing the Atlantic Ocean, the Narrows and Genesis. Julie even incorporated the beacon in the narrows! It is also meant to represent Newfoundland and Labrador as a whole. The last P, Programs, is represented through the rocks, as they are the ‘building blocks’ of what we do here and how we are able to help start-ups,” Dobbin explains. (The rocks, Lewis says, are based on the design of a fireplace that her family had when she was five years old, adding a personal touch.)
“Julie also incorporated the new brand into the mural; our new colors navy and red, our brand patterns, and the overall motif of circles. Lastly, the red line that goes up through the design is a real graph that represents capital expenditure in the province. This is an amazing visualization of growth and that investment in our province, and the technology sector, are on an upward trajectory!”
The piece is in the kitchen area at Genesis and besides brightening up the room, Dobbin says, “It’s also a great reminder of what we stand for, that most people in the space pass every day.”
“Genesis exists to foster economic development in the province, and while that usually means helping build amazing technology companies, supporting local whenever and wherever we can is a must!”