‘Whimsical and childlike’ mural to combat graffiti tagging at Victoria inner city school

'Whimsical and childlike' mural to combat graffiti tagging at Victoria inner city school

WATCH: Graffiti has been a problem for many areas in Victoria, including inner city schools. One school has found a creative way to solve the problem. Aaron Guillen tells us about it.

Correction: The name of the co-president of George Jay Elementary PAC is Angela Carmichael, not Amelia, as previously identified on-air.

School is a place where most kids come to play, learn, and grow. But lately, it’s been a canvas for vandalism.

At George Jay Elementary, it struck a nerve with parents.

“I see it first thing every morning and it really makes me sad,” says Angela Carmichael, co-president of George Jay Elementary PAC.

“It doesn’t represent George Jay as a school and it doesn’t represent a community that we have here.”

The mother of two wasn’t the only one that noticed the ongoing issue at the corner of Princess and Cook Street.

“On the way to school, my six-year-old son said to me, ‘You know mom, I call this part of Cook Street, Garbage Street’,” says Cara Gibson, chosen mural artist.

“And I said, ‘Oh, why?’ And he said, ‘Look at it!’ It’s important for these kiddos to have a sense of pride in the place they go to school’.”

That’s when the idea of a mural came into the picture.

They applied for the My Great Neighbourhood Grant program, a city initiative that funds projects that create inviting, vibrant spaces for communities.

This weekend, they’ll give this slab of concrete a fresh look.

“It will be whimsical and childlike for sure, but that’s all I’m gonna say,” says Carmichael.

She says the inspiration for the plan came from the First Nations mural on the side of the school.

Once the new mural is here, graffiti artists might want to rethink spray painting the wall.

The school will be applying a clear coat that’ll have them easily be able to wash off any unwanted paint.

“Regardless of whether you can read any of those words, your heart shrinks a little,” says Gibson.

“Tagging is cool art too, but just not on the side of our school.”

Now, the PAC co-president is going door to door, letting nearby neighbours know about their grand plans for the wall.

Until the big event, the PAC leader hopes that the outside school grounds will remain filled with kids playing tag, instead of artists tagging the wall.

Aaron GuillenAaron Guillen

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