About the Street Painting Design

This artwork is intended to be uplifting and beautifying to our neighbourhood. This is our first time making a project like this and we know it is far from perfect! We hope people will understand we have put in a lot of care and love into it and we welcome feedback and constructive criticism! We look forward to collaborating with neighbours on more mandala designs and street paintings in the future. 

For several months we reached out for ideas and images that are uplifting for our community including going door-to-door on the four blocks adjacent to the intersection and setting up art jams in MacLean Park, as well as posting notices to community organizations via email. Honestly, it is a little hard for people to imagine the end product – so having done one now – we hope it will be easier to engage neighbours in the design process next time – and YES! we want there to be the next time.

We specifically asked for feedback from local artists. We also sought guidance from our Indigenous neighbours, including members of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh nation (one of the three Host Nations, also including the Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam) who reminded us that pre-colonial Strathcona was an Indigenous village site called Kumkumalay. 

The turtle in the centre represents Turtle Island – the Indigenous name for the continent on which we live.

Around the turtle is a lotus-like flower made up of orange hearts, containing small footprints to commemorate the location of the unmarked graves of Indigenous children whose memory has touched our hearts this year and underscored the need to for change: redress, land back, and decolonization. Also here is a red handprint to represent Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Next there is a circle of characters contributed by neighbours, including plants, animals, objects, and a memorial to Gregory Karlen, a friend we lost this year who brightened our lives on this corner. 

The surrounding eight orange ovoids are Coast Salish form lines that can be found in many plants, ie when cutting a stalk of rhubarb.

Ta7talíya Nahanee provided artwork for the eyes that form the outside of the circle. The eyes are symbols that come from the local host Nations representing protection. Inside the circle of each is a sacred medicine of Turtle Island: tobacco, sweetgrass, sage and cedar.

Amy & Jade

We’d like to thank the following for their generous contributions:

Holly, Bruce, Griffin and Samaya

Arnt & Val Arntzen

Alex, Chris  & Pat Bigazzi

Veronica Butler

Rebecca Brass

Chris Cameron

Amanda Cassidy

Christina Chant

Jess Craig

Jennifer Du 

Brittany Graham

Kiku Hawkes

Dan Jackson

Russell Kildal

Jade Koide

Shelby Masters

Barry Mirochnick

Mister Fire-Man

Wendy Nahanee

Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee

Ginko Ochiai

Rob O’Dea

Woochan and Jiyoon Park

Chris Parker

James Pau

Roberta Robertson

Gerry Teahan

Jamie Smallboy

John & Kim Stewart

James Stockdale

Pim van Geffen

Amy Walker

Carlyn Yandle

Evelyn Youngchief

Alan Zisman

Val at the park

Susan for the lentil stew

City of Vancouver Special Events & Mural Program

Dulux Paints

Small Neighbourhood Grants

The Wilder Snail 

Union Market