News day / SOME 36 art students from ten schools from Belmont and Port of Spain concluded a two-week, youth volunteer art project for the St Francis RC Church on Belmont Circular in Belmont. The project, which is a communication module featuring young people from various schools in the area, produced a 160-foot mural of a monastery garden in honour of St Francis of Assisi, “patron saint of all God’s creatures and the natural environment”.

A section of the St Francis church wall mural.

“The project, which highlights the need for co-operation, collaboration and consensus among citizens, is geared to sensitising the community and nation to the critical need to address the protection and conservation of TT’s natural and built heritage,” said a media release. “It speaks to the individual responsibility to take care of everything and always make the right choices in support of sustainable development and holistic living.”

Views of the 160-ft mural painted by secondary school students from the Belmont and Port of Spain area.

The release said it hopes the students’ efforts and contribution to the Belmont community to restore the 116-year old National Trust site will gain support and real attention from the private and public sector. “Conservation and heritage is everybody’s business and could lead to a better quality of life for everyone,” the release said.

Parish priest Fr Thomas Lawson and executives of the Hope in Heritage project thanked the corporate sponsors of the initiative –First Citizens Bank and Benjamin Moore Paints. Congratulations also went out to the art students and all who donated to the project and for the goodwill generated during the exercise.

Views of the 160 ft mural painted by secondary school students from the Belmont and Port of Spain area.

Schools and other volunteers that participated include Bishop Anstey High School; Fatima College; Holy Name Convent; Providence Girls’ Secondary School; St Francis Boys’ College (Belmont Intermediate); St Joseph’s Convent; St Mary’s College; St Dominic’s Children Home; St Francis Church Youth Group and Dennis Mc Comie, co-ordinator, Hope in Heritage Project.

A section of the mural painted on the wall of the St Francis RC Church on Belmont Circular Road, Belmont

St Francis’ garden has also created history in that it is the only known church wall to have been painted in oils by so many young artists in TT, the release said. Artists and volunteers were presented with certificates of participation in an informal ceremony on June 16.



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