The artwork created by her and four other NSCC Burridge campus students will be mounted on the walls of three businesses in Yarmouth.
Durkee-Murphy’s painting is of a woman reaching to break through the surface of the water.
“My idea was there are opportunities for people in Yarmouth, but not as many opportunities as you would find in a city, so I wanted to do a struggle painting,” she explained. “Do you stay in the water or do you get out and go somewhere further? She’s reaching out for something different. Or she could stay, don’t know.”
While this art project will bring a splash of colour and interest to otherwise blank exterior walls – and will hopefully lead to other outdoor art projects – it was a great community-partnership experience for the college and students.
Through the aide of the NSCC Difference Dollars for Service Learning Program – and the guidance and partnership of the Town of Yarmouth and the Yarmouth Art Society – five NSCC Burridge Campus Applied Media and Communication Arts graduates created the donated original four-foot by four-foot outdoor art pieces worth over $1,700.
Two of the original pieces are paintings and three are photographs. The students involved were Rebekah Durkee-Murphy, Jaylem Jarvis and Jeremy Shearer, Sébastien Comeau-Theriault and Jessica Nickerson.
Entitled the Yarmouth Beautification Project, one art piece will be mounted on the exterior of the Yarmouth Mall on the east wall near the Mary Browns take-out window, two pieces will be mounted on the north wall of the City Drug Store, and two pieces will be mounted on the south wall of the old Trask/Royal Bank building across from Toots. The building owners were all interested, supportive and impressed by the students’ desire to give back to the community.
NSCC instructor Marcel d’Entremont encouraged the students to visit the buildings, look around, get a feel and talk to the owners.
“Then they came up with their pieces of artwork,” he said. “I asked them to come up with something different. Take a photo from a different angle. Paint something interesting.
“Our principal Mary Thompson is always trying to get students to be involved in entrepreneurship and stuff like that,” he added. “When this program came on through the NSCC, we jumped at the chance to do this.”
Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood and Economic Development Officer Natalie Smith were both also excited to have the town partner with NSCC.
One of the criteria the students had to meet to access the money was to participate in service learning and contribute to their community in a positive way, which is part of the OneNS Ivany Report action items.
Graduate Jeremy Shearer said bringing outdoor art into a town is a great idea. He hopes this project encourages others to do more of the same.
David Gorman, Yarmouth Art Society board member, also had praise for the project, saying, "Congratulations...on being progressive in getting public art into the community. Great example in community spirits and thanks again for making this happen."
The Difference Dollars for Service Learning projects were announced by Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, and Don Bureaux, President of NSCC, in March.