It’s not every day that you can spray paint a building without consequence – let alone on the community office of B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming – but students from across Greater Victoria have been doing just that this week.
For three days students from Vic High, Reynolds secondary, Esquimalt High and Lansdowne middle school worked on a colourful, fantastical mural depicting animals whimsically floating in the ocean. The theme was chosen by the students based on what they considered to be important in the community, says mural workshop facilitator, Kay Gallivan.
“They decided to focus on this theme of how you never really know what’s going on in people’s lives, so it’s good to be open-minded and curious, and leaning on the side of respect,” she says. “So they came up with this idea of there being more below the surface of the water, and how when you look at the ocean on a calm day, there’s still a lot going on below the waves that you can’t see.”
Gallivan initiated the project when she noticed the previous mural on the outside wall of Fleming’s Hillside Avenue constituency office.
“It was probably about a decade old and looked like a smaller project,” she says. “So I walked in one day and said ‘Hey, I’ll facilitate another one for you.’”
The students involved have a wide range of painting experience.
“I’ve been painting for a long time, but this is the most professional one I’ve done so far,” said Becca Nguyen, a Grade 11 student at Vic High.
By comparison, Grade 12 schoolmate Moloud Mazaheri has had no experience besides arts and crafts.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he says. “You’re doing this with your friends, so it’s kind of cool, too.”