Fine Arts student April Paul was commissioned by St. Mary’s First Nation Community Planning to create a large-scale mural on Fredericton’s Northside.

The mural is located on the outside of the overpass on Two Nations Crossing—a familiar canvas for Paul.

“I did a mural five years ago inside of the overpass,” she said. “Community Planning hired me to do it and asked me to work on it with students from the summer program.”

Paul, who calls St. Mary’s First Nation home, noticed earlier this year people were writing along the sides of overpass. She was looking for a summer project and after drawing up plans, was asked to cover the writing with artwork.

“I started working on the mural in early August,” Paul said. “Whenever the sun was shining, I was painting.”

The new mural uses bright purples and greens that stand out against a black background. The wildlife depicted in the work—a butterfly, turtle, and moose—are all significant to Paul’s First Nation community.

“The butterfly has to do with messengers, the turtle has always been a sign of history for us, and the moose is what fed everybody so I had to put that in,” Paul said. “They commissioned me to do whatever I wanted, so it was like having four blank canvases.”

Art by Paul can be seen in numerous places throughout St. Mary’s, including the Band Office and the Entertainment Centre.

After she completes her studies in Fine Arts, Paul may return to teaching, which she did for 15 years prior to coming to STU, or apply for a grant to open her own business.