Campus Life

Library Murals

By  Sarah Olson, Liz Palmer and Hannah Mayer

The Art Integrations class is all about incorporating real art into the real world. For the past session, Professor Cynthia Bryan has divided students into three teams to design, paint and document the production of five murals in the library study rooms. The teams have conceptualized mural designs that represent certain Grace College departments and have collectively spent hundreds of hours turning those ideas into reality before the Open House on May 5.

One group was assigned paintings for both the School of Business and the Seminary. “Finalizing the two designs was a lot more difficult than I thought,” group leader Danielle Goodman said. “At first, we had several good ideas that used the artistic strengths of our group members, but these initial ideas didn’t fit with what our clients wanted, so we had to change them. We’ve all been stretched to paint in ways we didn’t know we could!”

Another group covers the Arts and Sciences department, encompassing English, Languages, Art, History, Math, Science, Engineering, and Nursing. Group leader Jessica Taylor said, “I was delighted! Being an artist, I was more than happy to be assigned the Arts and Sciences. It seemed pretty natural to find a creative way to represent that department.” The group decided to use conté crayon to depict an old artist’s sketch book with a variety of characters sketched out, representing each field from Einstein to C.S. Lewis. It will hopefully please the masses and breathe new life into a tired room.

The third group is responsible for the Psychology and Education departments. Both murals have required last-minute restructuring and patience, but have come together nicely. After four weeks of design work, the Psychology team’s idea was completely discarded and they had to start again. Within two weeks of the Open House, the Education team had to restart a large section of its mural.

All of the teams have learned to be flexible and patient throughout this process. Even Bryan has faced challenges, as she unexpectedly needed to undertake this course alone after Kim Reif’s stroke earlier this year. Students have gained valuable experience working with both clients and team members to create masterpieces that obliged everyone involved. Compromise has been a key part of reaching objectives, but students have shown remarkable perseverance and dedication to problem solving that will serve them grandly later in life.

With only a few days to go before the Open House, it’s coming down to the wire. But Bryan is confident the murals will be completed on time and with excellence. The students of the Art Integrations class wish to invite you to the Open House at 4 p.m. on May 5 at Morgan Library. Attendees will enjoy refreshments, a presentation on the mural creation process and the opportunity to dialogue with the artists. A soothing Sunday afternoon of art and fellowship is exactly what finals week needs. We hope to see you there!