The artist selected to paint murals at the Vedder Bridge is Katzie First Nation artist Trenton Pierre.
Pierre’s top-scoring designs will be appearing soon — in deep purple and sunset yellow — to celebrate the mighty sturgeon on one mural, and swirling eulachons on the other.
Council approved the amount of $3,000 in March to commission an artist to create the murals. One will be painted on the face of the north abutment wall of the bridge, and the other on the retaining wall.
Some members of council questioned the appropriateness of a sturgeon image in particular for the Vedder bridge given that they’re far likely to be associated with the Fraser, but the iconic fish do represent the region in a larger sense, they were told.
Coun. Jason Lum said he hoped the artist would consult with those working on plans for the Sto:lo Nation-led design at the Vedder Roundabout, for “artistic consistency.”
It is estimated that it will cost less to the taxpayer overall to have an artistic covering over the area which dissuades tagging, rather than having to pay the cost of repeatedly cleaning graffiti off the same walls.
Coun. Chris Kloot said the project offers “good value for the dollar,” given that area is constantly sullied with tags.
The committee chose Pierre’s design also because it was deemed to be most fitting, to tackle the job of artfully covering the challenging block-wall surface available, with so many cracks and crevices.
The city is providing the costs of the materials.
“These locations are repeatedly tagged with graffiti, and the hope is that the placement of the murals might deter such negative activity,” according to a City of Chilliwack staff report detailing how the artist was chosen by the Public Art Advisory Committee.
Six submissions were received and three were short-listed by the committee.
They scored each submission, awarding up to 10 points each for relevance, suitability, relationship of the work and artist experience.
The top three submissions:
• Kenzie Dyck - Spirit of the Forest / Spirit of the River 196