STQI Downtown Toronto School
Your Journey to a Strong Mind and Body
Written by Master Dao on Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Winner of the Shaolin Zen Mural Contest

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Congratulations to Jamie Lynn Steele for winning FIRST place in the Shaolin Zen Mural Competition!

Students were not privy to the explanations provided by each artist. Master Dao wanted his students to take the time to study the idea behind each design and vote based on the Shaolin Spirit and understanding of each artist.

Here are the highlights from Jamie's proposed design:

  • Many structures from the Shaolin Temple are depicted to honour its tradtitions upheld at the STQI.
  • Students and monks are seen practicing kung fu (empty hands and weapons), tai chi, qigong, and meditation.
  • Animals that have inspired forms are hidden within the mural, as well as the five elements, and the yin-yang symbol.

Here is Master Dao's commentary:

"I'm always amazed by how artists can come up with a rough sketch that already looks so great! All three designs are more than acceptable, and all three artists had comparable portfolios and experience. Furthermore, all three artists are very accommodating and willing to work with us to make adjustments and improvements.

Jamie definitely did her research, above and beyond the other artists, and that's why she ultimately won.

Our traditional Shaolin roots go back over 1,500 years, a legacy of specialization in martial arts, meditation, and philosophy.

Jamie managed to capture the Martial Zen spirit by illustrating the training grounds of the Shaolin Temple. The courtyards are filled with students from all genders, ages, and nationalities; all passionately practicing the many disciplines that we have.

Chinese murals, especially the ones at Shaolin Temple, tend to be complex pieces involving many elements, including hidden ideas and philosophies. Her idea is reminiscent of the some of the murals at Shaolin Temple, especially the courtyard mural on the north wall of the White Robe Hall (also known as Guanyin Hall). This mural was created sometime in the early 1800s.

You can sense that she put a lot of thought and effort into this.

When people visit our school, they'll be able to study the mural and perhaps discover new things and ideas each time.

Students coming to class will be inspired by this mural, and be reminded to focus, strive, and persevere. These are all great virtues that apply to so many things in life.

What a wonderful addition to our school this will be!"

The prize for winning first place is:

  • $2000 (when completed)
  • Design Fee: $200
  • 28 Class Tokens (for Shaolin Kung Fu, Qigong, and Tai Chi) including a uniform set (shoes, pants, and shirt) – value of $500

If you would like to commission Jamie Lynn Steele for your own project:

Congratulations Jamie! We look forward to developing this idea further and starting this project as soon as possible!

About Jamie Lynn Steele

Jamie Steele is an artist and filmmaker based in Toronto, with a focus in painting, photography, and narrative storytelling.

After studying drawing and painting at Concordia University, Jamie went on to work in the film industry in camera, moving into The Art Department. After gaining experience in scenic painting, Props, and Art Directing, Jamie built credits in Production Design on music videos, Commercials and TV shows for CRAVE.

At the end of 2021, Jamie underwent her fourth surgery that lead her to rethink her relationship with her health. She also came to find her Philosophies shifting which lead her on a path to STQI.

After about 10 minutes of her first class, she knew that studying at STQI was where she was supposed to be, and so Jamie quit her job and is figuring everything else out to ensure she can pursue Martial Arts :)

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