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Belize City Council unveils Belize@42 Mural

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 25, 2023

On Wednesday, September 20, 2023, the Belize City Council hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially reveal the Belize@42 Mural, a celebration of Belize’s independence. The mural was painted by a talented team of artists led by Gilvano Swasey, with contributions from various local artists and students from St. John’s College High School, St. John’s College Junior College and St. Catherine Academy. In addition, two teachers from Wesley Primary School lent their expertise to the project.

The Belize@42 Mural is a display of artistry and historical significance. Lead artist Gilvano Swasey shared that this year’s mural was inspired by an original 1981 poster encouraging Belizeans to “Get Your Head Together for Independence.” The mural depicts figures based on real individuals in Belize, captured in photographs taken by Swasey over twenty years ago. This fusion of historical reference and contemporary creativity brings a unique depth to the artwork.

Hon. Francis Fonseca, Chairman of the National Celebrations Commission and the Minister of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology, praised the involvement of students and teachers in the creation of this year’s mural.

Mayor Bernard Wagner, in his ceremony address, emphasized the enduring relevance of the mural’s original inspiration from 1981. “Today, this remains ever-relevant! We continue to enjoy freedom and independence, but we must renew our focus! We must continue to get our heads together for progress, for inclusion, for equality, and for more opportunities for our young artists so that they can have a platform to bring their passions to life, and to pursue colorful paths to self-expression and fulfillment!,” said Mayor Wagner.

In addition to Minister Fonseca, Mayor Wagner and this year’s artists, also present at the ceremony were Councilor Albert Vaughan, Councilor Michael Novelo, Councilor Edmund Kwan and the CEO in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, Dian Castillo Maheia.

Since 2021, the National Celebrations Commission has tasked municipalities across Belize with creating murals to honor the country’s independence anniversary. This year’s Belize@42 Mural continued the tradition of adorning the Roger’s Stadium Fence, mirroring the locations of the two previous independence murals in Belize City. These colorful artworks have celebrated Belizean history and have significantly contributed to the beautification of the surrounding area, enhancing its visual appeal and creating a more vibrant and inviting atmosphere.