How do you ask the community of Bowen Island to slow down?
BICS Student Council representatives brainstormed this question, because they wanted themselves and their fellow students who are walking and riding bikes to school during Bike to School Week (May 28 to June 1) to feel safer on the roads.
“Bo” the banana slug has been the Bowfest mascot for over forty years. And since the 1960s the indigenous Pacific Banana slug (Ariolimax columbianus) has been a recurrent Bowen Island symbol of slowing down and enjoying the slower pace of life on a small island. Students felt that the slug would be a good symbol to use to ask islanders to slow their cars down in the 30km school zone, during Bike to School Week and all over the island,.
Kids want to be able to safely ride their bikes and walk on Bowen Island.
All BICS students had the opportunity to draw self-portraits as their way of representing themselves asking vehicle drivers to please slow down. Over three hundred self-portraits are included in the background of the colourful slug silhouette signs. The four fence art slug signs were created from professional-grade signage material that is re-usable and will last for many years.
This school-wide art project was made possible thanks to professional community support. Javier Estebecorena, partner at HEDS Interdisciplinary Design Studio, is a local artist, and BICS parent who donated his time and talent. The project also received support from community school coordinator Sarah Haxby, BICS Student Council, staff and students. Thanks also to Fraser Simmons and Doug Butler for assisting with the installation of the signs. The manufacture of the large slug silhouettes was made possible thanks to the talent, equipment and support of Craig Pearman of Sea to Sky CNC, a local company that creates custom signs, even giant slug-shaped signs!
Funding for this art project came from the 2017 Bowen Island Municipal Innovation Grants and matching funds from the Community School Association. A huge thank you to all the participants and supporters of the slow down slug safety fence art project.