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Jun 22
École Woodward Hill Elementary turns bottle caps into art

Woodward Hill bottle cap mural.jpg

Teacher Vanessa Tan watches as École Woodward Hill Elementary students help Gordon Powell, district vice-principal of aboriginal learning, and Surrey Board of Education trustee Bob Holmes unveil the River of Nations mural.


Woodward Hill bottle cap mural detail.jpgAs a vibrant new mural was unveiled at École Woodward Hill Elementary, it wasn't immediately apparent it was made from plastic trash.

But the artwork, titled River of Nations, is comprised entirely of bottle caps in a rainbow of colours, complemented by painted images of fish and "turtle island" – the name for North America, according to some Indigenous groups.

Done in collaboration with Métis artist Molly Applejohn, the mural was part of a reconciliation project at the school and included lessons about respect for the environment and for others. It was officially unveiled June 21 during a student-led learning assembly at the school.

The colours, explained teacher Vanessa Tan, represent diversity and "how beautiful it is when differences come together." The mural project was also an opportunity for students to consider the detrimental impact plastics have on the ocean and sea life.

"It gives me so much hope for the future to stand before this powerful generation of young people who have already demonstrated the levels of empathy and action necessary to transform ugly problems into something beautiful, like this mural," said Tan to the gym full of students.

The mural will be installed in the front foyer of the school.

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