Local painter Teresa Waclawik is doing her best to brighten up the dreary situation along Niagara Street, painting a mural on the sewage pipe currently being staged in the neighbourhood as part of construction on the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Local painter Teresa Waclawik is doing her best to brighten up the dreary situation along Niagara Street, painting a mural on the sewage pipe currently being staged in the neighbourhood as part of construction on the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria painter splashes some colour on a dreary situation

Six-week long James Bay construction project gives Teresa Waclawik an impromptu canvas

Teresa Waclawik is making the best of a bad situation.

The local artist and James Bay resident has spent the last few days painting a mural on the collection of giant sewage pipes currently taking over Niagara Street.

Part of the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant project, the forcemain is destined to be a concrete underwater tunnel, carrying sewage from east Saanich, Oak Bay and Victoria from Ogden Point to McLoughlin Point.

Hence, the undersea theme.

Waclawik approached the team behind the project at the information meetings, held back in February at the Victoria Edelweiss Club, and offered up her services.

“I suggested that I do something to make the neighbourhood feel a little bit better about this project, since we have the street closed,” she explains. “I live in the community and I care about what happens here.”

RELATED: James Bay residents face six-week long construction dig for sewage pipe

The paint and supplies have been provided by HRP Associates, as a thank you to the community for the six-week-long disruption. Waclawik anticipates she’ll be out with her brushes putting the finishing touches on the school of fish and bright purple octopus for a few more days, weather permitting.

“It is bringing a lot of smiles to folks who live here despite all the nuisance of construction and road closures,” she says. “It’s just amazing to me how art can change something like a dirty old pipe.”

Waclawik’s art has splashed colour on neighbourhood streets before – for years, her mural The Face of Vancouver donned the corner of Cambie and West 18th Street. It was dismantled when the corner store was turned into a JJ Bean coffee shop, a heartbreaker for the longtime painter.

“There’s a difference [here], it’s not going to be destroyed, it’s going to be hidden,” she says, of another project soon to be gone from sight. “And, the joy in this particular project is that it’s just for fun.”

While the pipe – running hundreds of feet from South Turner Street all the way down to where Niagara turns into St. Lawrence Street – is an eyesore, there has been another silver lining to its presence in the neighbourhood.

“There’s no bus running down Niagara,” Waclawik says with a laugh.

“It’s quiet.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Local artMcLoughlin PointWastewater treatment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Teresa Waclawik says this project “is just for fun” since the sewage pipe will eventually end up underwater, hence the sea creature theme of the mural she’s painting while the forcemain sits along Niagara Street in James Bay. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Teresa Waclawik says this project “is just for fun” since the sewage pipe will eventually end up underwater, hence the sea creature theme of the mural she’s painting while the forcemain sits along Niagara Street in James Bay. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Just Posted

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Ballet Victoria is honouring Rosemarie Liscum, the president of the board of directors who was instrumental in the building the dance company. Liscum died earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of Ballet Victoria)
Rosemarie Liscum remembered as dedicated, instrumental builder of Victoria Ballet

The president of the ballet company’s board of directors died at the age of 59

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

A writer studying in England drew from her roots growing up in Sooke for a story that’s been short-listed for a prestigious international prize.
Former Sooke resident up for prestigious writing award

Cara Marks earns nomination for the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Three Legged Dog Productions performed Jesus Christ Superstar in 2019. Tim Penney photo
Non-profit plans musical renaissance in the Comox Valley

Three Legged Dog Productions is preparing for a summer residency at Filberg Park

View Gallery curator Chai Duncan admires the work of graduating visual art student Hailin Zhang, one of the artists in the upcoming End Marks grad show. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
VIU visual art grad show presented as virtual gallery tour due to COVID-19

‘End Marks’ exhibition is on display from April 29 to May 30

Most Read