The six youth artists are all intensely focused on their work, but there is an air of relaxation and humour.
They work individually or in pairs on different parts of an expansive landscape and seascape that is gradually revealing itself on the back of the Nelson Recycling Centre facing Cottonwood Falls Park.
Muralist Bryn Stevenson is mentoring the artists who range in age from 13 to 18.
He says he started by meeting with the young artists to decide jointly what the mural would look like. The theme that emerged was a celebration of the natural world: mountains, animals, the ocean, and ocean creatures.
He helps the artists refine their ideas, suggests new approaches, demonstrates techniques, and does some of the painting himself.
“It’s a combination of giving them advice and then letting them try it, and watching them and seeing if there is anything that I can add. And then also painting and having them watch me.”
The project is sponsored by the Nelson and District Arts Council and the Nelson Youth Action Network.
Ingrid Love of the arts council says Stevenson’s work, of which there are several examples around Nelson, is always colourful and fun, and he works well with youth.
“He listens to their ideas and helps them to come up with techniques and ideas to execute them. Any time I swing by to watch the mural there’s always laughter and music, but everyone is concentrated on creating the art.”