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Bridge mural fulfills 12-year-old dream

Art students at WGSS complete outdoor art project first conceived by teacher who passed away from brain cancer
WGSS Grade 12 student Jami Volpe stands beside her contribution to the salmon mural unveiled on the West Mundy Creek bridge behind the high school. Art students, with help from the Townhship, the Yorkson Watershed Stewardship committee and teacher Scott Gordon spent months working on the mural.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A reader has told the Times that the mural has been vandalized and is essentially been torn off. Any further updates will be posted on this website.


It has been in the works for 12 years.

Finally, on June 27, a mural on the West Mundi Creek footbridge was unveiled.

It’s a mural honouring salmon and the precious ecosystem underneath the bridge.

Art students at Walnut Grove Secondary, along with their teacher Scott Gordon, unveiled the work, which stretches along the railing portion of the bridge, located behind the school’s oval track.

“We wanted to raise awareness for the people that walk across the bridge. They don’t realize that below there is a living breathing organism,” said Gordon on Thursday.

School district administration, the school principal, Township councillors and other community groups were on hand for the unveiling.

Gordon explained that the students were given free rein to create whatever they wanted using different kinds of mediums on 12 by 12 inch canvases. Those paintings, once complete, were scanned and digitally printed as vinyl wraps ready to be installed on the bridge.

For Grade 12 student Jami Volpe, who painted several salmon in a row for her contribution, it is a nice legacy to leave behind.

“We are really happy with it,” she said.

The mural idea actually came from former teacher Susan Kovach, who died of brain cancer several years ago.

“Susan approached me 12 years ago about a mural on the bridge but at the time, the Township felt there would be too much vandalism,” said Gordon.

Now the plastic wrap technology used can stand up better.

Kovach’s mom and sister were there for the unveiling.

“It’s a very lovely honour they bestowed upon her,” said Kovach’s mom Helen Brown. “She would have just loved it.”

One of the art student’s painted a portrait of Kovach and that, and a write-up about her and the project, appears at the entrance of the mural.

This was a joint project along with the Yorkson Watershed Stewardship Committee.

Langley Township Parks supported the project and Langley Environmental Partners has also assisted.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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