New mural at Nechako Valley Secondary School

Jessica Wiebe standing in front of the mural she has created for Nechako Valley Secondary School. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Wiebe spent ten consecutive days painting in the gym at the high school. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
”This is the largest canvas I have ever had,” Wiebe said. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

A Vancouver based artist who grew up in Vanderhoof and went to school here, has recently been creating a mural at Nechako Valley Secondary School.

Jessica Wiebe, a former NVSS student, has been painting a mural around the Vikings theme at the school gym. The gym wall is the largest canvas she has ever worked on.

“I have always been drawing and painting, and then after high school, it was something I was focused on,” she says in a conversation with the Express on July 17. Wiebe went to art school in Prince George, after which she moved to Vancouver.

Wiebe worked on the mural consistently over 10 days, clocking in over 8 hours a day. She said it was tough working with a Vikings theme initially, “as there are so many different things to do” and because the dimensions of the wall were challenging.

“I went through a bunch of different ideas. Because of the stuff that is going on in the world with the civil rights movement and more, I wanted to create something that could promote diversity and inclusion,” the 30-year-old painter said.

With her work, Wiebe said she did not want to promote any violence. “I wanted to make people feel that they are safe, that this a good place to be, and that you can feel supported,” she added.

The painter looked into Norse Mythology to find inspiration for the piece, as there is a dragon in the mural and Weibe wanted to connect that to the Vikings. “Thor battles the world serpent ,’Jörmungandr’, in Norse Mythology. So I thought I would have the Vikings battle the world serpent,” she said.

Weibe mostly does water illustrations, acrylic paining and digital work as well, and said being an artist has not been an easy career path to choose or follow through.

“I would say it is definitely still a struggle, but from that I have worked part time and full time jobs on top of doing art. So its always been consistent. Especially in Vancouver, it is an expensive place to live, so you have to find a balance between the two. But I have recently started freelance art, which is super exciting.”

Even though there is some struggle, Wiebe says being an artist is “fulfilling”. “I am not always the best with words, I am on the quiet side. So I find that in my art, I can express myself to my fullest extent.”

Most of her work is nature oriented and through her paintings, she says she wants to show the beauty in the world.

When Wiebe was studying at Nechako Valley Secondary School, her art teacher at the time was Vaughn Mueller. Weibe said Mueller is the reason she is an artist today.

For Mueller, seeing Wiebe paint the mural at the high school is a proud moment as a teacher.

“Jessica has always been a real natural talent, but what always made her amazing and set her apart was her desire to do something great! Combine that with her work ethic and ability to think outside the box and some amazing things happened,” the art teacher said.

Ken Young, principal of NVSS said that the school was looking for art to show diversity. “We are not just athletics, we are not just anything. Now you come to the gym, and you see art. Exciting thing for me is that when kids walk in they can see this interesting piece of art in the gym, as you wouldn’t really expect art here.”

“Its an updated version, there is more symbolism, diverse colours — it is definitely tough merging it with our traditional logo — but now we have this updated version, which I thought was very cool.”

Young said the school’s vision as supported by Mueller is to have art ‘everywhere’.

The Express will be featuring an artist every week. If you have any suggestions, please reach out to the Editor at

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vanderhoof politician running for president of UBCM

Brian Frenkel, municipal councillor, was the first Vice-President for the Union of BC Municipalities in 2019.

“Nature defines my art”: Bethany Giesbrecht, painter

This story is part of a weekly series showcasing artists in the region

Vanderhoofian nominated for the Premier’s Awards

Phil Turgeon has been nominated by the Ministry of Children and Family Development under the Leadership category.

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

‘GoFundMe’ page created for Vanderhoof women who were in a brutal accident last month

Sasha Mortensen and Jessica Raymond were hit by a pick-up truck July 29, while in an embrace on Keith Road next to Plateau Mill.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read