Student-painted mural unveiled at Fulford school

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A new welcoming mural at Fulford school was officially unveiled at a ceremony on Monday morning.

Called West Coast Wildlife, it replaces the old sunshine mural that was on the school wall. The goal was to create a piece of art for the school that looked at wildlife, celebrated First Nations culture, fostered creativity in the students and involved the community.

West Coast Wildlife was designed as an expression of the west coast as seen through the eyes of the students. It was painted by students at the elementary school, with help from Quentin Harris, Johanna Hoskins and Karen Reiss. Hoskins and Reiss have collaborated on artwork projects at the school for 15 years.

“The old one had to come down and we both had worked on that, so it seemed fitting that the two of us should work together. We did want to have the First Nations component, so Quentin was an obvious third party to the mural,” Hoskins said.

“It’s heartwarming to me how well it turned out and how good it makes me feel,” Reiss added.

Planning for the murals started in January and the final product was installed at the end of March. Students were a big part of the process. They were asked to brainstorm ideas, to draw a small version of their part, enlarge it to get a sense of the scale and then to paint onto the plywood.

“This is an elementary school and these kids are very creative. They’ve expressed themselves as such right here,” Reiss said.

The mural gives visitors to the school a sense of welcoming and helps them appreciate the environment. Hoskins also hopes that people get a chance to enjoy the children’s art.

“We sort of try and start out with perspective and sizing, but after a few times you throw that aside . . . There are small whales and big birds. It’s kid art and it’s just great,” she said.

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