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News: Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

John Maclure unveils new Thunderbird Mural

In the fall of 2021, Carlos Julian, an Indigenous Support Worker at John Maclure Community School, emailed a local Indigenous artist in hopes that they would be able to paint a mural at the school in honour of their mascot, a Thunderbird. The artist's work captured Carlos' interest online for her colourful, bold and beautiful First Nations-style art.

When Carlos inquired with Chantelle Trainor-Matties, a visual artist from Abbotsford, about creating such a piece, he was intrigued by her response, asking if the school happened to be John Maclure Community School.

"You won't believe this, but John Maclure is actually my elementary school! I attended from Kindergarten to Grade 3 back in the late 1990's," explained Chantelle. "I was eagerly waiting to see if it was my school or not. It is like returning to the place where I started loving making art."

Carlos felt it was fate – she was the first person he reached out to about doing this project, and she happened to be a former student, willing to return to her old elementary school to share her skills.

In early 2022, they got to work planning for a Thunderbird mural. Through the process, Chantelle was able to reminisce on her days as a John Maclure student and remembers being one of the winners of a colouring contest held at the school. This memory brought an additional idea to life - a colouring page based on her mural's design. Next school year, Carlos plans to hold a colouring contest for students using the Thunderbird image and share more about Chantelle's artwork with the kids.

After many months of weather delays, the mural was finally completed in late May. The bright and beautiful mural greets everyone who enters the front doors of John Maclure Community School. It's a piece that you cannot help but look at and smile.

Chantelle Trainor-Matties is a visual artist from Abbotsford, BC, with a heritage of Nisga'a and Métis who specializes in illustration, painting, mural work, and graphic design. Her art ranges from bold contemporary Northwest coast form lines to charming cartoons to painterly realism with a focus on flora and fauna of the natural world.

Media Contact:

Kayla Stuckart, Manager of Communications
Phone: (604) 859 – 4891 ext. 1206