Anjali Gibson, Visual Arts student standing in front of the unfinished mural at the decommissioned E.T Joshua Airport.
December 14, 2022
Young creatives make art at Decommissioned ET Joshua Airport

A group of young visual art students from the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, for the past four days, have been putting their creative talents to work on a mural at the decommissioned E.T Joshua Airport at Arnos Vale.

Under the keen supervision of Visual Arts teacher, Shaniq Stewart, the four students have been working diligently with a deadline in view- the mural is to be officially unveiled this weekend.

Shaniq Stewart, Visual Arts Teacher and owner of Beaux-arts by Shaniq Stewart.

SEARCHLIGHT’s keen eyes were attracted to the small group at their task on Tuesday, December 13, their colorfully spattered clothing bearing the evidence of their work.

For Anjali Gibson a third former “it has been a very fun experience because I love anything that has to do with art,” never mind, “it has been a little messy”.
While this has been Anjali’s first big project she has not found it to be unduly challenging other than for “slight aches” to her body.

The mural project is being undertaken by Shaniq Stewart who owns the company Beaux-artsby Shaniq Stewart.

She tells SEARCHLIGHT that in her down time at school she had been “looking for something that I can do because I’m not a person who likes to sit”.

She always had a desire to work with students but “never dreamed that could happen,”.

However, while on free time and ‘chilling’ she viewed the wall on the airport building and, “I said ‘you know what, that would be a great place for a mural’.”

There was some hesitancy at first trying to land this project because of restrictions she encountered previously, but felt deep within that “this time around…was the time it was supposed to happen”.

It has been about eight years since Shaniq has been in this field, though in the early years she “was basically doing charitable murals, then the jobs started pouring in and then that’s how it [her company] was birthed.”

Acknowledging that “this is a very unappreciated field”, Shaniq nevertheless has a vision for her students to be able to make a name and a living at home from their talent and expertise.

“We always have our talented people go out,” she notes, “so if I can have some of these children and show them the ropes and when the opportunities that are making themselves available now they are prepared to get them, then I feel like I’m doing my job in terms of preparing them for those opportunities”.