Mural project aims to engage Strathcona neighbourhood 0
Artist Todd Polich hopes his "Orcas in the City" mural engages Strathcona youth and businesses in environmental conservation. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)
Artist Todd Polich, shorts splattered with dried paint and an array of brushes by his side, is banking on a distinctly West Coast mural to help transform an east Vancouver community.
On Tuesday, he will be joined by Strathcona youth in painting a pod of orcas across an otherwise unremarkable warehouse on Powell Street near Clark Drive - part of an effort to reach out to the neighbourhood.
"They (local youths) are actually going to be doing something that's standing on these walls where they live and it's a monumental thing for them," Polich said, adding his Earth Foundation charity focuses on engaging kids in environmental conservation through artwork.
After spending the last two weeks painting an ocean and cityscape on the Sunrise Soya Goods building, Polich is enlisting as many as 90 youths from Kidsafe and Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre to spend this week populating the display with aquatic life.
The $9,000 project stretches 50 metres at its longest and reaches two storeys at its highest.
Joji Kumagai, Strathcona Business Improvement Association executive director, said his organization has sponsored about a dozen other murals to help revamp the industrial area.
"This is a really good opportunity to put a face, and a name, and a connection to some of these larger warehouses."
Polich noted he's spent much of the last few weeks fielding questions about the project from curious passersby.
"It really lets people know this isn't an area that's forgotten about. This is an area people care about."