The underside of the Nelson Bridge might be the city's next public art project. The idea is to have youth design a graffiti mural in hopes of bringing colour to the lifeless walls.

City of Nelson eyes graffiti solution

In an attempt to end the cycle around dealing with graffiti, a group of city organizations is gathering to assess Nelson’s mural policies.

In an attempt to end the cycle that has formed around dealing with graffiti and taggers, a group of city organizations is gathering to assess Nelson’s mural policies and procedures.

“There’s a lot of youth within the city who want to get out there and paint and are frustrated because they don’t have the surface to do that, so what do they do?” said cultural development officer Joy Barrett. “They go out there and tag and then the Rotary club goes out and paints it over and the city police are out there trying to stop it.”

Colours of Nelson is a joint project with the City of Nelson, the Nelson and District Arts Council, Daybreak Rotary, the Nelson and District Youth Centre and the Nelson Police Department.

“We had the idea to get all of these organizations together, sit down and talk about what is a mural? What is tagging? What’s graffiti? Where can we paint and where can’t we?” said Barrett.

The initiative will launch on March 9 with a round table discussion from 3 to 5 p.m. at the youth centre.

Barrett said the group hopes the first mural — planned for the lower concrete support of the bridge near Lakeside Park — will begin in May or June.

Amber Santos of the Nelson and District Arts Council is going to be the overall mentor for the project.

“She does a lot of mural painting herself. She’s going to be leading a team of youth through the design and production process,” said Barrett.

The part of the bridge that the project would like to use is the property of the Ministry of Highways, but Barrett said they have been in communication with the ministry and they are “perfectly happy to have this happen.

“As we do the correct priming of the wall, which we will, and show them the design, which we will,” she said. “We’re very excited about it and it’s really great to have all of the organizations working together and it will be great to have all the voices at the round table on March 9.”

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