North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Sep 26
Mural enlivens Lynn Valley Elem

Lynn Valley mural.JPGArtist Caroline Chao and recent Lynn Valley Elementary alumnae Eva, Ella and Josephine celebrate the Hastings Creek mural in the school library.

Hastings Creek holds a special place in the hearts of Lynn Valley Elementary students  even after they leave.

Ella, Eva and Josephine, now eighth graders at Argyle, returned to their old stomping grounds a few weeks ago for a special mural unveiling.

Looking up at the Hastings Creek landscape splashed across Lynn Valley's library wall, the friends reminisced.

“This must have been my first field trip in kindergarten.” “I walked through there every day on my way to school.” “I remember walking through there with my dog.”

The peaceful nature of Hastings Creek, across the street from Lynn Valley Elementary, beckons the school community.

Outdoor education lessons are held at Hastings, for instance. Also, numerous families cross the creek on the way to Lynn Valley, creating a connection between nature, home and school.

So, when last year’s Grade 7 class started to imagine a legacy gift for their school, the creek came to mind.

Mural students 1.jpgSome of last year's Grade 7 students celebrate their legacy gift during an unveiling of the mural on Sept. 17.

The mural was commissioned with help from Lynn Valley staff and parents. Fundraisers were held to make the mural a reality, including Freezie Friday, a coffee bean sale at Christmastime and a clothing drive for charity.

Chosen to bring their beloved creek to life inside the library was local artist Caroline Chao, who spent 120 hours this past summer meticulously painting every frond and ripple around the creek.

“The bridge is the focal point,” says Chao. It’s a very peaceful, relaxing place to be.”

The mural was primarily painted in acrylic, using a 3D effect that puts students at the edge of the stream and amongst the stones.

Lynn Valley principal Chanin Smyth is thrilled with the landscape art, which was chosen to be in the library because it’s the heart of the school – a place where Lynn Valley students and staff gather to learn and reflect.

“Due to the more urban placement of Lynn Valley school, the mural brings the forest inside our learning community – for all members of the community to enjoy,” says Smyth.

“This aligns with our First Peoples Principles of Learning, in that it is focused on connectedness and a common sense of place. Ultimately, bringing the natural world into our place of learning supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community and the land.”

Indigenous plants are featured in the mural, and the bridge symbolizes progress, connections and overcoming obstacles.

Chao is also the artist behind the Carisbrooke Elementary library mural, unveiled in June. She picked up a paintbrush, professionally, 10 years ago after a career in electrical engineering.

“In my heart, I’ve been an artist my whole life,” says Chao.

 Mural artist.jpg





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