In August 2010, five artists completed a new aboriginal-themed mural, THROUGH THE EYE OF THE RAVEN, on the west wall of the Orwell Hotel, at 456 East Hastings in Vancouver. The mural, covering six stories and 7,600 square feet, was developed collaboratively, with input from the local community and financial involvement from the Great Beginnings Program (run by the City of Vancouver) and the Province of British Columbia. The 55-room Orwell Hotel is operated by the Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS) as part of the government’s Provincial Homelessness Initiative.
The mural took more than 30 days of work to complete and adds new vitality to the Downtown Eastside community. The mural incorporates themes of renewal and positive directions in the urban aboriginal community. The artists and project coordinators hope the mural will both spark and reflect the ongoing renaissance in this community. The five artists who worked on the project are Richard Shorty, Haisla Collins, Jerry Whitehead, Eric Parnell, and Sharifa Masden.