Senior School Unveils Mural Inspired by the Works of Emily Carr

Mural-SrSchool_30May2016-1415-2You may have noticed a beautiful new mural that is prominently displayed in the Senior School atrium.

The mural project was spearheaded by Senior School Art Teacher Angela Jurgensen. She was looking for a project that would allow for the three Senior Art classes to interact and collaborate together. According to Ms. Jurgensen, the mural is a celebration of what “sparks” students at York House, their individual personalities, and the strong bonds they share with each other. Thirty-six students, mostly from Grades 11 and 12, worked cooperatively on each of their “puzzle pieces” and created elaborate designs to convey their ideas. Though the overall theme was the works of Emily Carr, the girls incorporated their own individual themes – their life as a York House girl. Any style could be used, as long as that the same colour palette was used throughout.

The mural’s overall design was created by Jessica, Grade 11. Ms. Jurgensen gave Jessica the following criteria: the mural should have flowing borders and not be contained by any particular shape (i.e. square or rectangle). The Facilities Department provided and cut the wood into pieces. The mural puzzle pieces were divided up for the girls to work on individually. Some girls got chose bigger pieces, others smaller ones. The overall goal was that an observer would not be able to tell where one student stopped, and another started. Everyone has enjoyed seeing the final result and the individual pieces each girl worked on are great conversation starters.

View photos of the process here and read the girls’ reflections on their individual pieces here.

Gr. 9 Como Lake Mural Project

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.06.53 AM.pngJust before spring break, Grade 9 art students worked together to create a mural for Como Lake Gardens, a YWCA community housing facility for low-income women.

I connected with the YWCA last summer, in the hopes they would have a facility that would benefit from a happy and positive mural. I was referred to their Como Lake Gardens facility in Coquitlam where the counselling staff focuses on teaching the 30 women residing there, skills such as how to be more assertive, and positive conflict resolution. Como Lake also offers its residents a community kitchen, a laundry room, a park, and a play area for the 40 children currently living there.

The Como Lake building is new and very modern, but it wasn’t very welcoming to the children. This is where our Yorkies came in. They spent months brainstorming, designing, planning, and voting for the design that would transform the main wall at the entrance of the building, which is adjacent to the common play area. Their challenge was to create a mural that would inspire a sense of community and would also be appealing to young children.

The result was amazing! With many decisions to be made from start to finish, our Grade 9 girls embraced the project with a tremendous level of enthusiasm and maturity. I was there only to guide!

In only one day, they worked tirelessly to complete the mural. The result is a beautiful mural that is bright, happy, and something they are deservedly proud of. The feedback we have since received from the residents and staff has been extremely positive; they are overjoyed, and amazed at how the mural changed the energy of the space. I am so very proud of the commitment and creativity of our girls!

Watch the time lapse video of the girls completing the mural.

Angela Jurgensen
Sr. Art Teacher