The students of Marie Sharpe Elementary have been treated to a new school mural freshly installed in their school library awaiting their return this fall.
The second school mural local artist and mother of three Tiffany Jorgensen has done in the Cariboo, the first being one for her daughters’ school Mountview Elementary, this project came about thanks to Marie Sharpe’s librarian Jessica Katsura. Jorgensen was approached by Katsura who said she’d been wanting to get a mural installed in the school’s library for years and upon hearing Jorgensen was interested, got permission from the school principal Calvin Dubray and the PAC to commission Jorgensen.
“It was all her idea, she was very passionate about it and she wanted something that was peaceful, calming and something to do with nature. We also decided to ask each class, like I did at Mountview, what they wanted to contribute to the mural as well,” Jorgensen said.
One thing that Jorgensen found interesting when asking the students at Marie Sharpe compared to Mountview was how different the responses were.
The overall vibe she got from the teachers and students was a “totally different feel” than the ones she talked to previously. The themes of peace, happiness and belonging came up a lot, along with ethnicity, being away from home and the idea of the school being a place of support and family for the students.
As with her previous design in Mountview, Jorgensen requested one student from each of Marie Sharpe’s 10 classes to feature in the mural. However, Katsura ended up adding some extra children to represent the fiddler and drummers leaving Jorgensen with 12 subjects, many of whom had musical instruments and one a ball made of hoops.
While she panicked at first, she found a way to bring the calm, tranquil nature of the requested piece to life.
She ended up using Scout Island as a backdrop for the piece using a reference image she had her boyfriend, Darron Campbell, capture one morning when the light was perfect. This results in a backlit piece with the children lining the island’s banks alongside various animals that represent different First Nations communities in the area, Jorgensen said.
While she wasn’t able to attend the unveiling herself, as one of her daughters was receiving an award that same day, she did talk to some of the teachers afterwards who said the students were ecstatic to see it. One boy, who holds up the hoops in the mural, asked almost daily about it until it was revealed, according to a teacher Jorgensen talked to.
“There are so many different and important messages in the mural,” Jorgensen said.
“All very supportive and family-oriented messages and I think that’s what I hope (future students take away from it).”
While Jorgensen feels she did a good job transcribing the ideas and messages into the mural, she wanted it to be clear that it was a team effort between herself, the students and the teachers.
It’s their passion and ideas that fuel these creations and help beautify their school, she said.