Artist adorns hydrant with local history

AN ARTIST, who painted one of the fire hydrants downtown, portrayed some of the history of Kitsumkalum and the City of Terrace.

PAULA WESLEY shows her paint-stained hands and her finished work on one of the downtown fire hydrants to help beautify the city.

AN ARTIST, who painted one of the fire hydrants downtown, portrayed some of the history of Kitsumkalum and the City of Terrace.

Paula Wesley worked on the project for two days and named it Robin Town.

“I wanted to do something in return to share with the City of Terrace and Kitsumkalum Village that they had a history way back in the 1980s that they had to build a good relationship between Kitsumkalum and the City of Terrace for our future generations,” she says, adding that it’s also a tribute to her late grandfather Clifford Bolton, well-known carver, whose works have been collected worldwide.

“I thought to myself ‘why not do something that nobody else has done on the other fire hydrants: show the symbol of the Robin Town that has four main crests, Raven, Killer Whale, Wolf and Eagle that are welcome to live in the same community.

At the bottom of the hydrant, there’s red egg shapes, she explains.

The red nest means love and equal partnership that she heard from her grandfather, who once said “we come in equal and show respect for all,” she says.

Around the top, are white egg shapes that represent clouds and peace. The leaves mean growth and strength.

“That is what I want to show: that we are standing here today, that we are still here and to carry on with our knowledge,” says Wesley.

“I was taught by my grandparents and the Elders that is important to me how invaluable to have the knowledge from our people, how important it is to us to learn about the culture and traditions to be carried on.”

Wesley graduated from the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art diploma program in April of this year. Her grandfather’s knowledge was passed on to her as a carver and artist, she says.

Many of the downtown fire hydrants have recently been painted by local artists to help beautify them. THey can be seen by taking a walk downtown.