Grade 11 and 12 students stand outside of the Public Health Office in Port Alberni with their painted murals. These murals will help brighten up the alley outside of the office. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Port Alberni students’ murals a ‘welcoming beacon’ for public health unit

Murals are a collaboration between Island Health and ADSS art class

Port Alberni’s public health office has been brightened up with a series of murals painted by local high school students.

The murals are a collaboration between Island Health and Anne Ostwald’s Grade 11 and 12 art class from Alberni District Secondary School. The paintings will be hung up along the alleyway that leads to Island Health’s Child, Youth and Family Health Unit at 4201 Sixth Avenue. The public health unit has been in a temporary space for the last year and a half as the permanent building undergoes renovations.

“This is our office space where we service parents, caregivers and young children,” explained Kaley Ruel, School Health Promotion Specialist with Island Health. “It’s just been a really uninviting atmosphere. We really wanted to brighten it up and make it more inviting.”

Ruel describes the temporary space as “notoriously confusing.” Parents and their young children have to walk down a narrow alleyway to get to the door, often times having to be redirected. Ruel hopes the artwork will become a “welcoming beacon” for service recipients.

“We will now be able to say, ‘Follow the bright murals and make a left!’” she said.

The murals follow three main themes: nutrition, early learning opportunities and protection from trauma. Each mural will also include a plaque with a description from the artist.

“Anne’s art class rose to the occasion,” said Ruel. “They did an awesome job in capturing these aspects.”

The murals are diverse in style and subject, with students painting everything from abstract art to landscapes. Grade 11 student Madi Duncan even painted a portrait of actor and jazz musician Jeff Goldblum.

Grade 12 student Emma Audet depicted a butterfly, giving service recipients something “uplifting and hopeful” to look at.

“I chose to represent freedom,” she explained, “and a feeling of flying.”

Another Grade 12 student, Sacred Brown-Collicott, portrayed a woman and her daughter embracing. The painting also includes elements of First Nations-style artwork. “It’s about telling your own story,” she said. “But also it’s about feeling safe.”

Island Health is hoping that the public health office will move to its permanent location within the next year, but the murals will also be moving.

“We’re planning to take the art with us wherever we go,” said Ruel.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Joyce Lee and Rebecca Douglas carry their painting outside of the Public Health Office on Sixth Ave. The painting of a peaceful picnic is meant to represent health and wellness. “Our ideal day for a picnic would look something like this,” said Douglas. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Just Posted

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Two B.C. suspects of a Canada-wide manhunt reportedly recorded a cellphone video… Continue reading

Wildfire burning outside of Port Alberni

Coastal Fire Centre on scene

Sproat Lake residents oppose large-scale cannabis production in their neighbourhood

Community group calls public meeting for Aug. 21 to discuss implications to ACRD land

Firefighters extinguish brush fire near Port Alberni residential area

Fire off Kitsuksis Creek Trail believed to be human-caused

BCHL: Battle for Bulldogs’ roster spots heats up as main camp begins

Alberni Valley’s new head coach will get his first look at revamped Jr. A hockey team

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Most Read