Quinn Beblow

Young women add colour to city

The Music and Murals program is behind the new painting on the side of the Happy Gang Centre on Kalum Street

The Music and Murals program is behind the new painting on the side of the Happy Gang Centre on Kalum Street, and the artists are a group of young women.

The Terrace Women’s Resource Centre Society, with funding and support from TDAC and Ksan Place and supporting artist Noreen Spence, played host to girls between the ages of 12 and 16 last week.

“The thought of fostering the confidence in these young women really appealed to me,” Spence said, adding that she hoped the girls gain a great sense of accomplishment through their participation.

The exploration and learning started indoors as the girls discussed what music — more specifically, Canadian music — meant to them, instructor Kelsey Minhinnick explained, and from there connections were drawn between music and art.

Despite the bleak weather and daunting grey sky, three 14-year-olds, Beth Sheppard, Quinn Beblow and Bryn Giesbrecht, were out painting on Friday afternoon.

“I thought [Music and Murals] looked really cool and it would be really neat to paint a mural and go back in a few years and be able to say, ‘I helped paint that,’” Beblow said.

The girls learned a lot about painting from supporting artist Noreen Spence, specifically the importance of blending, depth and perception, Beblow explained.

“We talked a lot about what music meant to us and we learned about different Canadian artists,” Sheppard said, admitting that her favourite right now is Serena Ryder.

“I learned about how music can affect a lot of different parts of your life and it can be a big part of who you are,” Giesbrecht said.

The biggest hurdle that this project faced, Minhinnick explained, was trying to find a place to do this.

She knew that she wanted it to be a community minded organization and she knew the building would have to be privately owned.

“I was walking down here one day in a bit of a panic thinking ‘where are we going do this’ and sure enough here is this beautiful wall!” she said.

Not only did the girls get to get closer to their country’s artists but they also learned some strong interview skills, Minhinnick explained.

“Happy Gang had the girls come and present in front of the board of directors, so we went over how to properly shake a hand and we practised some questions they might ask,” she said. “They handled it like champs. So maturely, so professionally, and they were approved on the spot.”

The mural should be complete by next week and already they’re getting a lot of attention from bystanders and vehicles driving past.

“One guy who passed by on Wednesday screamed, ‘Let’s paint this town!’” Minhinnick said.

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