The Belize Sign – the brightly coloured spot near the Baron Bliss Lighthouse – recently got a facelift and it’s abuzz all over social media. The Belize City Council commissioned the work and our newsroom spoke to the artist, Chelsea (kel-si) Johnston about her latest mural design today.
Chelsea Johnston, Artist: “There were a lot of ideas that I wanted to bring forward because you know Belize has a lot of beautification. We’re beautiful in different ways. So instead of using the common things that we normally see for example instead of the orchid I used the ginger flower. You know we have different fauna that are beautiful and things that we normally see and we don’t really bring it forward and we need to bring other things forward than just the things that we always see. You know you go to the zoo and you see the tapir, you know you always see those things. We have insects, we have the slightest maybe caterpillar that’s very beautiful if you take a close up picture of them they’re colorful and they’re really beautiful so I want to bring things out that people remember about Belize.”
While the acrylic kaleidoscope of colours has the whole city talking, for Johnston, she really drew inspiration from the kindness of people during the three-to-four-day process.
Chelsea Johnston, Artist: “While I was painting I got so much support and I was amazed because it’s on the curve you know you get tourists coming in but I wouldn’t think there would have been so much traffic around that area and you know everyone, strangers you know I didn’t know anyone out there it’s just me an my worker and you know they brought me ideal, food, beers so I felt the love with our Belizeans and the tourists also so that’s one thing that I love about doing murals it could be the Jam Roll guy he would pass and ask you know “You want a little jam roll or something ?” and you know they’re willing to give and help out. ‘You need water ?’ ‘You need anything?’ and that’s what I love and I know my Belizeans are that kind of people you know. If they see something that’s uplifting their country they’re willing to help along the way and help that person to do so.”
There are plans for Johnston to do the same for the second Belize sign on Seashore Drive.