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Student art showcased on Delta ‘kindness meters’

Money collected in the public art pieces goes to local non-profits supporting Delta residents
“f(x)=x,” a math-themed kindness meter designed by Seaquam Secondary grad Kyla Dooley located outside Sungod Recreation Centre in North Delta. The City of Delta has installed five kindness meters, all designed and painted by Delta students, around the city to collect spare change for local organizations. (City of Delta photos)

Five “kindness meters” have been installed around the city as part of an interactive public art project supporting local not-for-profit groups.

The project — a partnership between the City of Delta, Delta School District and Delta Community Foundation — involvesthe repurposing of five decommissioned double-headed parking meters to collect spare change for local organizations supporting those in need across Delta. To promote and encourage youth engagement and public art, local high school student artists were invited to design and paint the meters while incorporating the themes “We Love Delta” and “kindness.”

The five kindness meters were unveiled Nov. 13 in celebration of World Kindness Day.

“Simple acts of kindness can go a long way in bringing happiness to each other. I’m excited to see this community-based initiative launch to spread messages of positivity and start conversations about how to be kind to ourselves and others,” Mayor George Harvie said in a press release.

“I want to thank our great partners at Delta School District and Delta Community Foundation for joining us on this project; together we are strengthening our community through kindness. I hope everyone across Delta will join us to show that kindness counts.”

“Wonder in Kindness,” a kindness meter designed by Delview Secondary grad Jill Baccay located in Ladner Village at 48th Avenue at Havilland Street. (City of Delta/Twitter photo)
The kindness meters have been installed at the North Delta Social Heart Plaza, outside Sungod Recreation Centre, in Ladner Village (on 48th Avenue at Havilland Street), outside Delta City Hall and at Tsawwassen Town Centre, and the five meter heads will be interchanged every six months to create a “travelling art exhibition,” according to a city press release.

“Over the last 20 months, I have seen firsthand how Delta residents have come together to support each other through this pandemic. I have seen how small acts of kindness do count, and how much kindness can build community spirit during a difficult time,” Delta city manager Sean McGill said in a press release.

“Delta’s kindness meters are a feel-good initiative aimed at giving back to local organizations helping those in need across our community. Not only will the meters collect donations, but they will also serve as beautiful pieces of public art, thanks to the incredible work of Delta’s student artists.”

The meter at North Delta Social Heart Plaza, titled “Good Vibes Only,” is the work of Burnsview Secondary student (since graduated) Ava Burbank. A bio on the city’s Kindness Counts campaign website states Burbank is studying Fine Arts at Brigham Young University in Idaho and hopes she will one day be able to share her work and creations with the public, whether it be in the performing arts of through murals, photographs in a magazine, a billboard or a canvas in some building.

“I always work best when I can gather ideas and inspiration from others,” Burbank said in her bio. “My good friend Kaleigh suggested a 70s feel-good meter. Immediately, I fell in love with the idea; when I think of this decade, the popular 70s promotion of kindness, love and acceptance is timeless. We should always remember to always be kind because we never know what someone is going through. Our actions have significant impact in the way the world revolves.”

The design for “f(x)=x,” located outside Sungod Recreation Centre, stems from Seaquam Secondary grad Kyla Dooley’s own personal interest in the relationship between art and math.

“It’s really fun and dynamic, and though it may not be your traditional representation of kindness per se, I still definitely see it as such in a more abstract sense. With its bright colours and interwoven patterns there’s definitely that sense of warmth and positivity, and I hope that kindness will translate as such to those in the community around it,” Dooley said of her design on the city’s website.

Dooley’s bio states she is an interdisciplinary artist based in Delta and Halifax whose practice spans a plethora of disciplines where the concept informs the choice media. She is driven by creating structure and systems within individual works — to create constraints so as to free herself to explore.

“Wonder in Kindness,” located in Ladner Village, was designed by Delview Secondary grad Jill Baccay, a self-proclaimed kid at heart who enjoys working with colour and is inspired by the vibrant people and things around them, according to her bio, and loves bringing “a little groovy style” to the things she draws.

“I wanted to have an image highlighting volunteers and those involved in non-profits, who provide to those in need within our communities, to show appreciation for their generosity and hard work. I decorated the meter with a lot of bold hearts to draw back to the love we have for our city, and especially the kindness of those who work hard to make others’ days brighter in a time like this,” Baccay said in her bio.

The other two meters were designed by Delta Secondary student Claire Peters (“The ‘Delta’ in the River Delta,” located outside City Hall) and South Delta Secondary grad Ella Koehn (“Sunflowers,” located at Tsawwassen Town Centre).

“We were delighted that our high school students were given the opportunity to get involved in this unique initiative. I know our learners enjoy finding ways to engage and connect with their local community,” Delta school board chair Val Windsor said in a press release. “The kindness meter project is a wonderful way for them to share their creativity and love for this community, while at the same time helping to support local charities — a win-win for all involved!”

Money collected through the kindness meters will be collected and distributed by the Delta Community Foundation, who will ensure that the funds are provided to local organizations that strengthen and enhance the well-being of the community.

“The kindness meter program is such an appropriate theme for the Delta Community Foundation to be part of. It speaks to the heart of why we have served Delta for the past 35 years, supporting local charities with donations from the community. We are proud of the partnership we have built with the City of Delta to produce programs like this together for the benefit of all those we serve,” DCF vice-president Carlene Lewall said in a press release.

RELATED: New look, new name for Delta Community Foundation

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James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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