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Vale Alnis Ansons
Alnis Ansons was Head of Art, at Salesian College from 1978-1992. He was a very honest and knowledgeable man and was known to be in the art room working away with his painting students, all the time. Alnis was a mentor, teacher and friend to so many current and past staff members.
Dr Shaun Wilson, a past student, was very ‘inspired by his incredible ability with painting and how painting could express feelings that went beyond the canvas.’ Shaun remembers Alnis’ love of Art history and sculpture. This leads me to mention the lasting gift he created, the beautiful mural on the Kimberley Hall wall, as you enter the school. He individually created each tile, and I will never forget the glazing and firing of those tiles. This was such a huge job, not just the firing, but using the College small kiln to fire each and every tile and then firing the students work at the same time, it was truly a juggling act. The research and the subsequent sketches of the life of Don Bosco were captured in the image you see today. Alnis wanted the images on the organically shaped tiles to express the enormous love of Don Bosco’s teaching of the young and in turn, I believe this mural revealed Alnis’ expression for the love of his students, dedication to his craft and most of all his Salesian Spirit. His artistic approach will never be forgotten, just enhanced.
Alnis would be thrilled that The Visual Arts is still thriving and with the new refurbishment currently underway; his affectionate ‘cave’ will be a sanctuary of new paintings, sculpture and sketches, continuing a beautiful legacy.