Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS) has reached the end of a legacy project; over the last year, a group of teachers and students worked together to design a large mural for the school.
Made up of four parts that takes up a good portion of the front exterior above the main entrance, the mural was designed to beautify the school, honour their diverse and inclusive history, and highlight the multitude of individual stories that, together, make the Aldergrove community.
The vision of the mural is four panels comprised of a single, uniting overlay image over a background of hundreds of individual photographs.
The overlay image is an original painting created and designed by a team of students from ACSS under the mentorship of professional artist Tracie Stewart.
“I came on through the program Art Starts and helped facilitate the concept and showed the kids how to interview artist and helped them go and interview elders in the community,” Stewart explained.
Through research, consultation and collaboration, these students aimed to create an image that would represent the identity of Aldergrove, and honour the traditions, histories and values of our community.
Jolina Arial, a Grade 12 student who worked on the project, said the project lifts school spirit and gives off a feeling that makes ACSS a good place to be.
“I helped with the photo aspect, teaching elementary school students from Shortreed photography skills like the rule of thirds,” Arial said.
Diane Courtney, a teacher at ACSS, said she helped facilitate materials and keep the kids focused.
“We started last fall and the students put in a lot of time. Lots of Wednesdays, they’d be at the school working until six.,” Courtney said. “It makes the school look so much better.”
They were inspired by the school Totem and the words of Lou Ann Neel, by the history provided by the Alder Grove Heritage Society, and by the beauty in the natural landscape of the Fraser Valley.
Behind the overlay image, filling in the space and giving it depth and detail, are hundreds of individual photographs contributed by students, staff and community members.
This project was funded in part by the Aldergrove Parent Advisory Committee, and was made possible by the guidance and contributions of the Alder Grove Heritage Society.
It represents a collaborative effort of school and community to recognize and reclaim their identity.
“I’m hearing there is a good sense of pride about the mural,” Stewart said. “I really loved finding history of this school.”
More information on the project can be found at https://acsslegacyproject.wordpress.com/about.
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