Artist Jordan Ernst unveils mural at EPS headquarters

Artist Jordan Ernst with his "Papaschase (woodpecker)" art at the Edmonton Police Service headquarters. (Screenshot).

by Deidre Thomas

(ANNews) – Last month, artist Jordan Ernst was honoured with the unveiling of his mural at Edmonton Police Service (EPS) headquarters to mark and celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day. The ceremony included drumming and singing as visitors were able to take in Jordan’s art – a spray painting depiction of a Woodpecker, which means Papachase in Cree language.

Ernst is a Métis artist who grew up on the plains of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. As a youth he enjoyed pro-skating and building his own skateboards.

However, in his highschool years, Ernst suddenly fell into the wrong crowd and was a part of “graffiti crews.” Gangs who come together and illegally vandalize public spaces and buildings with graffiti. Eventually Jordan’s affiliation with this group took an unfortunate turn.

“These associations for me eventually lead to my gang involvement and further enhanced my identity crisis,” says Ernst.  “During my last stint incarcerated I was dealt all the difficult cards one could imagine.”

While incarcerated Jordan was able to continue his highschool education and three years later after being released and living on his own, Ernst found himself working three jobs at the age of 17 and still attending school. He successfully  graduated with high honours, however the journey was not easy.

“The experience was necessary for me to develop the character traits I now possess,” says Ernst.

A pivotal moment came for Jordan when a friend offered to present his artwork to the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery.  The gallery accepted his work and created a new chapter for Jordan to tap into his hidden talents as a true creative artist.

“For the first time in my life I had been labeled “Artist” by someone of merit,” he says. “As an artist for over a decade now I believe you must go places within your mind first before you put pen to paper.”

Jordan is now a proud lead graffiti artist at Graffiti Salad, a business located in Edmonton, that transforms commercial and private properties into colourful, vibrant works of art through murals. Ernst also sells custom apparel on the website at

Deidre Thomas is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.

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