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WSANEC artist’s mural gets underway at Beckwith Park in Saanich

Mural completion subject to weather, unexpected factors
Local artist Sarah Jim began painting her mural earlier this week at Beckwith Park in Saanich. Her work showcases her WSANEC roots. (Courtesy District of Saanich)

The second installation in Saanich’s community canvas mural project is now underway at Beckwith Park.

Painting began this week with Sarah Jim – a local artist selected by the district to design and install a mural – leading the way. The mural is expected to be completed by Wednesday, Sept. 23, depending on weather and other unexpected factors.

Jim, an artist of Coast Salish, Mexican and Russian-Jewish ancestry, is a proud member of the WSANEC nation from the Tseycum village.

Her art captures her love of ethnobotany, which studies the interrelations between local plants and Indigenous people. Her mural aims to create a different way of visually exploring the connections between native plant food systems and coastal medicines in relation to the ecosystem and WSANEC culture.

“Being part of this program means having the opportunity to showcase WSANEC art in the traditional territory of my people,” she said in a news release.

Jim’s distinctive site-specific artwork has already appeared in neighbourhoods throughout Greater Victoria. Her design highlights two local ecosystems in need of protection: the wetland and camas meadows.

Drawing inspiration from the land, her design colourfully represents her roots.

“Expression motivates me to create art, I feel as though it’s my responsibility to tell stories in a visual way,” Jim said. “This not only helps the viewer to understand certain concepts, but it helps me in my own well-being as art is medicine.”

The third and final mural of the community canvas mural project is planned for Layritz Park and is anticipated to be finished in October.

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