Two Chinook High School mural projects showcase student talents

By Garrett Simmons

Lethbridge School District No. 51

Communications Officer

Students at Chinook High School have created a mural designed to help them explore the known and unknown parts of our collective identity in Lethbridge, as well as their school.

Students from Chinook’s Blackfoot, Leadership and Art classes came together to plan a vision, and then began the construction over the course of three days last month. Students added their own symbols and interpretations of our past, present and future. Lauren Crazy Bull, a Blackfoot and Dene artist, facilitated the experience with students.

“The project began as a series of conversations in the fall of 2016 about the nature of belonging, relationship to land and reflecting on stages of time -past, present, and future,” said Joanne McHugh, Teacher Counsellor at Chinook. “In the fall of 2017, Lauren travelled to Lethbridge and spent a week at Chinook. Lauren facilitated planning sessions and began to assist the students in the creation of the collaborative mural.”

Each student contributed a unique symbol they created and connected to the concept of stability, growth and environment. 

“The students involved in the mural, and our school, had the opportunity to see the process unfold and come together,” said Mchugh. “They enjoyed the chance to create a visible symbolic mural of where we come from and where we are headed. Lauren was an excellent facilitator, creating safety, boundaries, and helped students open up their potential to participate in a public art piece.”

One of the students involved in the process of creating a second mural at Chinook, Kirsty McFadyen, from the We Are Chinook Mural Group, added Chinook teacher Ard Biesheuvel showed students a mural painted at another school. That inspired McFadyen and fellow student Teagan Dixon to make their own mural.

“Teagan and I chose the words for the mural and then we met with other students in Grade 12 during the design process,” said McFadyen. “We divided the words more or less equally between the six of us, and each of us took a different approach as to how we designed the blocks.”

Along with Dixon and McFadyen, other students involved in the mural included Autumn McEntarffer, Charlize Baron, Claire Sparrow-Clarke and Mckenna Kirk.

“Our goal with this mural was to express our school spirit and to leave a positive legacy in our building,” said McFadyen.

Date posted: Nov. 30, 2017

Picture number 1 from the photo album called Two Chinook High School mural projects showcase student talents