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Indigenous youth rise to artistic challenge for Salmon Arm non-profit – SA Observer

November 6, 2023

Rise Up Indigenous Wellness hope mural of old-growth forest

Janessa Wilson and Jeremiah Vergara are expanding their artistic abilities while painting a forested expanse for Rise Up Indigenous Wellness.

The two Grade 11 students are among a group of Indigenous youth participating in a mural painting project organized by Rise Up’s Launa Payne and Sherrelle Anderson. Payne said the mural, being painted on a wall inside the non-profit organization’s Salmon Arm office at 875 Lakeshore Dr. W, is being done in partnership with the Salmon Arm Art Gallery and the Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Society.

“This mural will be completed by local artist Sarah Wiens and a rotating group of Indigenous youth,” said Payne. “The youth will learn important art skills at the guidance of a professional artist.

“The space is used for youth groups and programs, so the intention is that the visual of an old growth forest will be calming and therapeutic. At Rise Up, we believe that land is medicine and all of our programs reflect this belief.”

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