Batool Yahya paints a mural of a dog in a chef hatBatool Yahya puts some finishing touches on a mural she designed with art student Andrea Niven for the space outside the Feeding Windsor Essex Pet Food Bank.

Student mural to grace public space

Andrea Niven, a third-year BFA visual arts student in the School of Creative Arts, has just completed a mural project near the intersection of Drouillard Road and Whelpton Street to benefit the Feeding Windsor Essex Pet Food Bank and its Good Deed Grill.

Niven worked collaboratively with local artist Batool Yahya, who helped to secure a Windsor Arts and Heritage grant for 2024. The duo designed and planned the mural which helps to make the charity’s barbecue and outdoor fundraiser space more inviting. With assistance from local artists Anne Rino and Rachel (Maiingan) Edgerton, they completed the mural on May 1. It will be publicly celebrated on Sunday, May 26, during the Drouillard Vintage Flea Market.

“There was so much support from the community and kind words of praise and encouragement from those who passed by,” says Niven. “One gentleman on a motorcycle said he’d be back for a photo op with his dog.

Niven proposed and completed the project as an assignment for her third-year class in Art in Public Spaces.

“There are many fantastic proposals that come from this course but few that have the timing, funding, and enthusiasm needed to bring them to completion in such a short time,” says professor Lee Rodney. “This was an exceptionally generous project that Andrea has devoted her time and energies toward, and it demonstrates what can happen when artists collaborate within the community.”

Kaitlyn Karns, a secretary in the School of Creative Arts and executive director of the Ford City Business Improvement Association, extended congratulations to Niven and the other artists involved.

“We love to see this amazing work that adds vibrancy to the neighbourhood,” Karns says. “I have heard nothing but positive comments from the surrounding businesses in the area.”