Students from an Advanced Drawing class in the BFA program, have been working all year on a mural design to transform University Way into an experimental public art piece. These students, lead by visual arts professor Aleksandra Dulic and teaching assistant Emerald Holt, came up with the idea to convert the road into a locally situated, yet imaginative river.
“The mural responds to the ideas of human and environmental wellbeing in the Okanagan,” explains Aleks Dulic, “the class engaged in a set of readings on the topic of local sustainability to create experimental mural design that celebrate solutions that empower community resilience and diversity within the Okanagan.”
The larger goal for this project is to create an invitation for other classes and interests to participate over this year, with the overall purpose of enlivening and celebrating the campus public space with a positive and inspiring sustainability narrative.
The Campus Planning and Development and Campus Operations were closely involved into realization of this project. Led by David Waldron’s vision to initiate this temporary mural on the road along the University Way, this project celebrates the decision to convert the road into a pedestrian zone.
The initial mural, created in the fall of 2018, acted as an aspiration is to create an invitation for other classes that continued to develop this design this spring, with the overall purpose of enlivening this public space on campus.
As outlined in the UBC strategic plan “places play a profound role in shaping the experience of the people who work and live in them; people, in turn, are powerful influences on their places.” Building on this reciprocal relationship between people and places, the aim is to engage the students in thoughtful and conscious dialogue with Okanagan’s rich heritage across Indigenous peoples and settlers, local sustainability, and socio-environmental wellbeing.
“This artwork is be shaped and reshaped, as students get deeper into the researching and exploring the multifaceted colors of our beautiful Okanagan.” Says Dulic.
These students have worked transform the University Way road into a space for poetic expressions that enables our communities to experience, celebrate and extend their understanding of the Okanagan.
Students involved in the project are: Sara Spencer, Sidney Steven, Brock Gratz, DJ Haywood, Cassie McKenzie, Barb Dawson, Clare Addison, Gary Alexander, Reggie Harrold, Chelsea Robinson, and Mirjana Borovickic.