A teenage artist is bringing a little bit of colour to the South Hill Mall.
Carlton student Jordan Twist is in the process of painting a large-scale mural on the wall by the Winners’ entrance. The large-scale mural depicts First Nations themes and celebrates family, storytelling, community and the importance of the child.
“I took inspiration from my dad,” Twist said.
“He does all this amazing artwork and I wanted to do it as a tribute to him.”
Christopher Twist is a graphic artist. He’s been helping Jordan as she works on her mural at the mall.
The project itself came to be after the South Hill Mall reached out to Carlton teacher Melanie Mirasty and the Carlton Collection Builders.
The group is a stepping stone for youth to get their work out into the local art scene through mentorship while encouraging world change.
The group has been involved in another public art exhibition. Maria Hirsi, who graduated in June, was the first high school student to have a dedicated exhibition of her work in the John V. Hicks Gallery earlier this year. The group is available to students from Grades 9 to 12 as an extracurricular activity. Carlton Collection Builders was formed out of the mentorship Mirasty developed with Hirsi to put that project together. It has also included students such as Emily Feschuk, who began painting on denim and launched Denim by Em.
In June, Carlton Collection Builders received a PraireAction Foundation Youth Award. Mirasty told the Herald in June that she was working with other businesses to display student artwork.
Mike Ellis and Cynthia Kluz of South Hill Mall reached out and said they wanted to do a mural. That was before COVID-19 hit. The plan was to have Twist lead the project. But then, after COVID-19 struck Saskatchewan, the project took a backseat.
When the situation stabilized and students returned to classes, Mirasty once again asked Twist if she would spearhead the mural project.
“Because curricular activities have been cancelled for our school, I can’t use my time as a teacher to support her, so Jordan has been working on her own time at the mall and I’m supporting and mentoring her as a teacher on my own time. She has to do this on her own time without the school involved.”
Carlton Collection Builders, Mirasty said, has supported Twist in the past and will continue its support into the future as Twist works on other projects.
Twist just started painting a few days ago. Before, she was hard at work drawing the mural on the mall’s wall.
People have been coming up to her to compliment her on the project.
“It’s been really amazing to see art at the forefront and to be valued in a special way,” Mirasty said. I’m really excited that the mall trusted Jordan. We’re excited to see the end project and hopefully extend murals to other parts of the city.”
For Twist, the experience has been wonderful.
“It’s a community mural,” she said.
“It’s so heartwarming because people stop by every few minutes to say ‘way to go, that looks cool.’ It feels good.
Twist is also excited to unveil the mural once it’s complete.
“Seeing artwork up there it’s like I’m connecting to my community and reaching out to them, saying ‘ we’re here. I can see you and you can see me.’”