Above: Lynda Faulks (center front) with workshop group in front of the Memorial University of Newfoundland mural. Photo via Memorial University.

By News Editor Aislinn Cottell

The VIU Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) has endorsed a project this spring which seeks to express the concept of sustainability through collaborative art. The workshop-style event will result in a piece formed from 24 separate clay tiles, each created by a different individual, which will then be fused to form a full mural that will be installed on campus.

Participation in the project is free, and open for application from VIU students, staff, and alumni. SAC hopes a range of people from different backgrounds will sign up, as they would like the piece to span the perspectives of various disciplines, ages, nationalities, and cultures on the theme of sustainability.

Most importantly: participants do not need any former experience in art.

The process will be guided by professional artist Lynda Faulks, a retired BC art teacher, VIU Art Educator, and winner of various awards including the Prime Minister Award for Teaching Excellence. Faulks has been facilitating mural workshops across Canada for several years, with different themes depending on her focus group, which can range from elementary school to university age students. Her most recent installation was a mural at Memorial University in New Brunswick, focusing on the history of medicine throughout the province’s history.

“[Lynda] has taken [her mural construction] a long way, developed some really great knowledge and skill around it, and has been able to bring out some really excellent work from people who say that they are not artists,” said Margot Croft, Administrative Assistant for Environment and Sustainability at VIU. “She will be the first to say, in fact, that everyone is an artist.”

The creation process will have two main stages: Design and Creation, currently to be held over four study days during reading break, February 20–24. The second stage, Antiquing, is planned to be held on two exam study days, April 12 and 13.

In the first stage, the group will take an entire day to explore the idea of sustainability and what it means to each individual. The participants will discuss images that represent sustainability, find their inspiration, and each sketch a draft of their tile. They will then transfer their design to clay, learn about working with the medium, and create their piece.

In the second stage, the tiles have been fired and participants will add old gold, silver, bronze, and copper colouring to their pieces. The tiles will then be arranged and grouted into place, followed by an unveiling ceremony to present the mural to the community. Some proposed ideas for placement include the half-wall next to the bookstore entrance or the breezeway in-between bldg. 300, but the decision is by no means set in stone.

Overall, the project will be a seven-day workshop, with three to five hours of crafting each day, excluding breaks. Those interested in signing up must be available for every workshop day, for the entire time.

Applications should be submitted to <sustainability@viu.ca>, and include your name, area of interest/study, and a maximum of 100 words on why you would like to be a part of this legacy.

Aislinn is a third year Bachelor of Arts and Science student majoring in creative writing and minoring in chemistry. New to The Nav team this year, she’s enjoying finding out about all the interesting things happening on campus. Her hobbies include reading, drawing, Netflix, and the copious consumption of coffee.