At the bottom of artist Ty Johnston’s illustration of a heart shaped Winnipeg is a quote from Aristotle that reads, “A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.” In other words, a terrific city need not be heavily populated. Quality over quantity. It’s what Johnston thinks of Winnipeg.
“I’ve loved Winnipeg ever since I moved here seven years ago,” says Johnston who thinks Winnipeg is a vibrant, special city with lots of heart.
It’s true, most other cities with small populations don’t have many of the attractions Winnipeg has. For a small town it certainly brings a lot to the table. And its citizens give away more than anyone else. Turns out Manitobans are the most generous people in the nation when it comes to charitable giving, leading the country in percentage of the population declaring a donation on tax returns – 26.3 percent, or 228,320 Manitobans.
That’s why the heart shape made sense to Johnston. The image he used for the inside of the heart comes from a high resolution aerial photograph of downtown Winnipeg from 1954.
“As a graphic designer, I’m always attracted to large, high-res images,” he says. “So when someone showed me Manitoba Historical Maps’ photostream on Flickr I was in heaven. I came across this photo in particular. When I looked at the original from 1954 here, http://www.flickr.com/photos/manitobamaps/3887269741/in/photostream,I knew I wanted to do something with it.”
“After a few months,” Johnston recalls, “I landed on the idea of the heart poster and the quote from Aristotle seemed appropriate. My mom gave me the idea to give this to the Winnipeg Foundation because of their community involvement in Winnipeg.”
You can see a large e-version of the print here http://d.pr/i/Wsmb
Ty Johnston’s portfolio site can be found at http://tyunderscore.com/
This month, CNC is taking a closer look at compassion in our city. In addition to hosting a Town Hall Forum on the subject at the Winnipeg Free Press Cafe on January 23 at 7:00 pm, we’re also encouraging CNC reporters to write about compassion.