Annette Sharkey (left)

Annette Sharkey (left)

Art project promotes respect in downtown Vernon

Residents can view the newly installed “I am” alphabet boards along 31st Street

There is a visible reminder to show respect.

Residents can view the newly installed “I am” alphabet boards along 31st Street in downtown Vernon.

“The Respect Lives Here project is a series of poetic boards that answers the simple question, ‘Who am I?’” said Annette Sharkey, with the Social Planning Council.

Several groups worked with artist Ryan Ryan to find the words that best described themselves and then painted the prose on to large boards.

“The resulting art pieces are poignant, powerful and absolutely beautiful,” said Sharkey.

“They need to be experienced to be appreciated.”

The groups who participated in the project are the Vernon Women’s Transition House, the Vernon District Immigrants Service Society, the Vernon Community School, an LGBQT group from W.L. Seaton Secondary, Canadian Mental Health Association artists, youth from the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society and moms from the Pregnancy Outreach Program at the First Nations Friendship Centre.

The boards can be viewed at Nolan’s Pharmasave, It’s Bath Time Dog Grooming and North Okanagan Youth and Family Services during the summer and fall.

The project was funded by the provincial government and hosted by the Social Planning Council, the Downtown Vernon Association, the  City of Vernon and Vernon Public Art Gallery.