Artists: Valerie Ward, Julia MacDonald and Jill Gilroy
They are getting ready. All of a sudden it’s serious. Wendy is holding up the odd looking implements they will be painting with and in a swift unspoken movement the three chairs are shifted and now they are sitting shoulder to shoulder intent on their instructions. Three young women who, together, like this look ready to conquer the world.
They bring out a laptop. There are whispered conversations. They look worried and apprehensive but they are doing it anyway. A fine example of that definition of courage: to be afraid of doing something but doing it anyway. Their conversation is quiet but the ideas are coming, in the midst of the fears: “I can see it but I don’t know if we could draw that.”
Their group focuses on raising awareness and improving knowledge around mental health issues. So it seems fitting that their word is Vision and their central image a lighthouse. The lighthouse sheds light so that others can see their way safely and avoid treacherous and dangerous rocks and undercurrents. But the lighthouse is more than a source of light. It is solid and strong. No matter how hard and high the storm rages, the foundation of the lighthouse stays put. It may be hidden, invisible temporarily, by crashing furious waves but it remains unshaken, and emerges once the storm calms.
This organization and its work on UNBC campuses capture a vision of the university as a beacon and an anchor; it is a place where the mind is not only nourished with learning but supported to be healthy and strong. This may be the most vibrant piece, yet so meaningful for the word; illuminating UNBC as a place where barriers and challenges becomes part of the journey because a strong vision lights the way.