Would you use recycled paint to decorate your home? How about for an art project or to give old furniture a new face? After seeing the mural made with recycled paint at A.R. MacNeill Secondary School, we’re convinced everyone should use our PaintShare program! The program is for artists and individuals alike, and allows community members to drop off left over paint for others to use for free.
The lucky students of the A.R. MacNeill business department won the mural based on the project that they submitted for Science World’s BC Green Games. Science World’s digital eco-storytelling contest supports BC teachers and promotes place-based environmental education. This project-style, inquiry-based program is a 21st century learning opportunity in scientific exploration, storytelling, media arts and advocacy. We are excited to be celebrating their commitment to protecting the environment!
Art, Community, and Recycled Paint
The students worked alongside local artist Jaymie Johnson to create a piece that is truly unique and will live on in the school’s hallways for years to come. Jaymie takes a special approach to her art projects as they seek to explore the relationship between art, community, and ecology. According to Jaymie, this mural is “a symbolic marker of the communal benefit and legacy that can come from efforts towards building sustainable initiatives”.
Jaymie has always been very interested in both art and ecology but thought she had to choose between pursuing a career exclusively in one or the other. However, she came to realize that art and ecology can coexist in important and meaningful ways. She also learned how community engagement and community-building bridge these two disciplines beautifully.
Jaymie says that, “Product Care Recycling’s PaintShare Program fits into this relationship between art, community, and ecology due to the fact that “interesting and influential work happens when the material used for an art project upholds the theme of that project”. Using recycled paint to create a mural that celebrates a student-initiated “green” project begins to bring the work full circle. In addition to the real community connections made, Jaymie says there’s a poetic joy in knowing that the paint we’re using for these murals are left over from public use throughout the Lower Mainland.
Community engagement is an important aspect of Jaymie’s work. She says “there is power in creating spaces for people to come together and work with their hands towards a common goal, whether it involves skill sharing or beautifying a space”. Jaymie goes on to say that “it’s during this process that relationships are made, stories are shared, and an emotional attachment or new found curiosity towards a subject or place is established. Community engagement provides an opportunity for everyone involved, including the facilitators, to pause, observe, collaborate and learn from one another’s perspective”.
What does the future hold?
Moving forward, Jaymie imagines that we will see a continued increase in an intersectional, transdisciplinary approach to sustainability that will include art and public engagement. She’s inspired by seeing artists, municipalities, and institutions embrace the use of recycled and sustainable materials in art projects.
Jaymie’s hope for her future as an artist is to continue to weave together her interests in art, ecology, and community, through collaborative and intersectional projects that improve the social and environmental ecosystems where they take place.
Interested in seeing more works of sustainably made art? Come find us at the Vancouver Mural Festival! Product Care Recycling has donated 300 gallons of recycled paint primer to be used by various artists at the largest annual free public art celebration in Vancouver. The Vancouver Mural Festival features a number of local young artists creating works that address a variety of cultural issues including public art policy, community building, environmental policy, reconciliation, highlighting Coast Salish history and culture, artistic censorship, diversity, cost of living, and the need for culturally sustainable development practices.
To learn more about Jaymie and her work, visit her website www.jaymiejohnson.ca. For the most up to date visual record of her projects visit her Instagram @jaymsmj.