New Westminster - The City of New Westminster is pleased to announce a vibrant new mural was recently completed in the Downtown neighbourhood. Commissioned by the City’s Public Art Program, the mural is part of a pilot project that will explore ways to create more mural opportunities in New Westminster.
Randall Bear Barnetson was selected from the City’s 2022-2024 Artist Roster to create the mural on the back wall of Purpose Society on Alexander Street. Titled Salmon, the artwork emphasizes the importance of generosity, reciprocity, and taking care of our community, thus reflecting the work of Purpose Society, a regional non-profit agency that provides social, health, and education programs.
“Barnetson’s work is a call to action to build a kinder and more supportive community where we can all thrive,” said Mayor Patrick Johnstone. “This work also adds some much needed colour and visual interest to our urban environment, improving the livability of our downtown. We look forward to seeing more murals commissioned for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors.”
Barnetson is a multidisciplinary artist of Indigenous heritage from the village of Nadleh Whut’en, the Dakelh Nation, and the Duntem’yoo Bear clan. His artistic practice uses Northwest Coast Indigenous art forms as a framework to interpret modern topics such as mental health and wellbeing, identity, culture, and spirituality.
“In our way, the one who gives the most salmon away is considered to be the wealthiest person. This is in contrast to the typical understanding of wealth as the accumulation of goods. Our wealth is shown by sharing our abundance so that everyone in our community can live well,” said Barnetson.
In an effort to reduce barriers and better support community organizations and artists, the City enlisted the help of the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF), a Metro-Vancouver non-profit arts organization that specializes in the production of large-scale murals. VMF supported the artist selection process, concept development, and led the production and completion of the mural.
The City invites the public to help celebrate the completion of the mural at an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 28, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, on Alexander Street behind Purpose Society (40 Begbie Street).
For more information about Salmon, visit: newwestcity.ca/public-art/salmon