Nuu-chah-nulth students embellish trash bin with artwork | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Nuu-chah-nulth students embellish trash bin with artwork

Port Alberni, BC

Every day, over the last few weeks Coda Johnson of Huu-ay-aht and Rose Tatoosh of Hupacasath have been painting a trash bin with their signature artwork that will soon make its way into the Port Alberni community.

Embellished with bright purples and baby blues, Tatoosh hopes that seeing the trash bin covered with art will make people feel good.

“It makes me feel good, because I'm making other people feel good,” said Tatoosh of the artwork. “Or at least look at [it] and be like, ‘Oh, that's a cool looking trash can’.”

On either side of the trash bin are Tatoosh’s bright purple space scenes with an astronaut and an alien.

“I chose space,” said Tatoosh. “The focus being an astronaut.”

“I feel like you can't go wrong with space,” added the young artist. “It will look good in any setting.”

On the front of the trash bin is Johnson’s artwork, who carefully crafted a forest scene amid a blue sunset.

“I've always liked nature and how calming it was for me,” said Johnson, who shared that it was difficult choosing the right colors for the piece.

“She really didn’t give us any design to do, she kind of just let us do our own design on the trash can,” said Johnson, who appreciated the creative freedom in the instructions from their teacher, Anne Ostwald. “We all just kind of went for it.”

Tatoosh, who’s been in this art class since January, said that seeing improvement has been the most fulfilling part of the class, while for Johnson, art has been a calming way to help with struggles.

Though Ostwald is unsure of the location of where the students’ bins will go, the young artists were given a deadline for May 10.

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