Gaia Tree by the Growing Hope into Action (GHIA) Collective of Emily Carr students is the most recent addition to the Vancouver Mural Festival, and can be found at Main and Broadway on the side of Cafe Barney.
The mural centres on the Pacific Dogwood and includes some of the creatures that call this environment home. Just as a tree creates community and shelter for all sorts of birds, insects, and other animals, GHIA's goal by inviting Mt. Pleasant locals to paint with them was to promote a sense of community and deeper engagement with the urban and natural environment. The title Gaia Tree references the mythological goddess who personifies Mother Earth and the five female artists who designed the mural using a co-creation methodology: Rachel Rathbun, Deborah De Brito, Marissa Chapman, Dhanha Lee, and Fiona Zhao.
This mural is one of several GHIA projects that came out of a class held in Spring 2017. Taught by Dr. Cameron Cartiere, the class was sponsored by the Mount Pleasant BIA. The collective was created to encourage community engagement, awareness, and art as an opportunity to support the integration of the existing community into the new urban growth springing up in Mt. Pleasant. Other projects can be found on the GHIA Collective Facebook page.