A girl walks by a portion of the City of Surrey’s first digital mural, designed and created by Thomas Nelles.
Nelles is a Grade 12 student at Sullivan Heights Secondary who will attend Emily Carr University of Art and Design in the fall on a full entrance scholarship. He spent more than 124 hours developing the design concept for the mural, which contains 154 different layers of photographs, sketches and textures.
Called Cultural Synthesis, the 14-by-74-foot outdoor artwork was initiated by DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society and is on a building near the Newton Recreation Centre.
The DIVERSEcity project had two components: community consultation with representatives of Surrey’s social, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity; and the creation of digital-based artwork that conveyed unifying themes and symbols.
Nelles described the focus sessions as being eye opening.
“I discovered a cohesive bond between us: an openness towards accepting differences,” he said. “The most interestingly discovery was that people connected strongest with the iconic maple leaf.”