The writing's on the wall: New mural in the Nest celebrates class of 2020

In the Nest, along the curved wall by Grand Noodle Emporium, stands a vibrant and bold new mural dedicated to the graduating class of 2020. The mural’s designer, acclaimed Canadian artist Peter Ricq, described it as “fun, diverse, positive, weird, cartoony, busy yet simple.”

According to AMS VP Administration Ben Du, the mural was intended to honour the UBC graduating class of 2020, who didn’t get an in-person graduation ceremony.

“We wanted to thematically incorporate a number of symbols of the university,” said Du in a statement to The Ubyssey, “such as the clock tower, the graduation cap toss, and the empowering message of ‘Tuum Est’, as both a farewell and a nod to the exciting endeavors of the graduating cohort.”

Ricq creatively outlined the pinnacle of the UBC experience through sequential illustrations, almost like free-form comic panels. With eye-catching imagery and a cohesive flow, it sweeps the hallway with new life.

“I've been working in animation for over a decade, cartoons are dope and I love doing it,” said Ricq.

When asked about his inspiration, Ricq shared, “I like being able to create something out of nothing. It's fun to explore other styles and be able to send a message or multiple messages in your work.”

Notably, his piece includes visuals of online learning and the Black Lives Matter movement to symbolize the unprecedented times students in 2020 faced.

Despite the struggles and grief which the class of 2020 weathered, the round cartoon people and whimsical cityscape of the mural emphasizes the importance of finding humour and lightheartedness during difficult times.

“Most of all, my main focus in my work is to always entertain the viewers,” said Ricq.

Beyond a commemoration of the graduating class, the mural also will remains a cheerful addition for classes to come.

“This mural adds to the growing collection of public art in the Nest, collectively representing a special student signature to the Nest and distinguishing the building from others on the UBC Vancouver campus,” said Du.