Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Local youth Isabella and Manmeet with City of Surrey staff, Edward Westerhuis and Charis Au (in blue t-shirts), in front of the painting.
Surrey, BC – Teens are making a big splash and letting their creativity shine at the City Centre branch of Surrey Libraries. Members of the Teen Library Council (TLC) recently painted and unveiled a large seascape painting in the Teen Lounge.
“The idea was to make the space more inviting and welcoming for teens,” explains Ellen Wu, Teen Services Librarian. “The youth expressed how they have a lot of stress and so they wanted to make the Teen Lounge an inviting place for youth to relax.”
The artwork depicts an ocean landscape with a bright sun reflecting off the water and butterflies flying above boats. The painting is 26 feet long by 9 feet high, filling the entire wall.
“It looks a lot better than before, when it was just a white wall. It really brings the room to life,” said Isabella, one of the TLC members.
To guide their painting, the teens worked with muralist John Gingrich and Facilitators from Surrey’s Youth and Community Art Program. Together they developed the design and created the painting plan.
“It was great to have someone like John involved. The youth had a big vision, so working with someone with such expertise makes the whole process stronger,” said Charis Au, one of the Community Art Facilitators. “This project speaks to the power of teamwork and how youth flourish when they have opportunities for creativity and leadership.”
Funded this past year by a generous grant from Coast Capital Savings, the Teen Library Council is an opportunity for teens to collaborate, develop leadership skills, and shape programs for their peers in the library. TLC members share the potential and opportunities the library provides for youth, developing programs that address teens’ interests, future goals, and well-being. The Library is now accepting TLC applications from students aged 13–18 in grades 8–12 for the upcoming 2019-2010 school year. For more information, please visit: https://www.surreylibraries.ca/services/teens/teen-library-council.
About Surrey Libraries
Surrey Libraries is a valued community institution and one of the most-used community services in Surrey. The library welcomes around 2.7 million visits to our nine branches each year, and over two million visits to our online resources. Surrey Libraries runs hundreds of programs and services for children, youth, and adults to support their diverse learning needs. Serving the community since 1983, Surrey Libraries strives to be a leader in supporting creativity, connectivity, literacy, and lifelong learning. Find out more about Surrey Libraries and our diverse programming at surreylibraries.ca.