80-foot-long installation greets 750,000 annual visitors arriving at YLW
UBC’s Okanagan campus has a story to tell – actually plenty of them — and several compelling stories about students are now featured on an 80-foot-long mural at Kelowna International Airport (YLW).
The mural graces the pedway that brings visitors from arriving flights into the airport terminal. Seven exceptional students, one representing each of UBC’s Okanagan faculties, are featured in photo arrays.
Called Our Stories, it is the largest graphic illustration about UBC ever created in the Okanagan, spanning more than 80 feet in length by six feet in height. Months in the making, with two additional stand-alone panels the mural snakes out to more than 100 feet.
The installation draws attention to a supporting website—ourstories.ok.ubc.ca—which tells long-form narratives about a variety of exceptional UBC Okanagan students.
Storytelling and artistic expression are vital ways to communicate achievements and cultural values, and to provide a sense of place and history, says Robert Eggleston, associate professor of English and Associate Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.
“The great thing about this mural is that it is more than an installation, it’s an art piece,” says Eggleston. Up to 750,000 travellers a year arrive in the Okanagan through Kelowna International Airport, so the mural, developed by UBC designer Margo Yacheshyn, is expected to draw plenty of attention.
“It certainly provides a visual reference of our university and the people at our university for the many travellers who arrive in Kelowna annually to engage with,” says Eggleston. “They might never see our university, but they will see this representation and they’ll understand what’s going on just across the road at UBC’s Okanagan campus.”
The Our Stories project is an opportunity for UBC to share with the Okanagan stories about the way the university and local communities engage with each other, says Bud Mortenson, director of University Relations.
“We chose student stories that illustrate inspiring ways of how their experience is shaping their education and is in fact shaping the students and their futures,” says Mortenson. “And those student experiences are helping shape and transform the Okanagan.”