By Payton Hayes - Staff Writer
Rose State prides itself on celebrating the STEM majors a well as the Fine Arts majors and everyone in between and this value is represented in the newest addition to the school’s collection of student murals, Humanities, located in the upstairs, back hallway of the Humanities building. This mural is the second of two choices presented to RSC’s Humanities Building Mural Committee and will be one of the first few painted in a series of murals set to cover the hallways in student-led artwork.
Initially, the mural class was created as a Special Topics in Art course that served to teach students about the ins and outs of getting a mural up on a wall, whilst re-imagining the familiar space students see daily. The project was intended to liven up the hallways and make the dull, quite upstairs back hallway a more inspiring and inviting place.
Art Professor Suzanne Thomas shared her thoughts on the finished project.
“This mural class was more about the process and procedures that an artist must go through before they create artwork, especially artwork that is meant to be viewed in public,” Thomas said. “I think a lot of art students have
public art, i.e. like murals, are about reflecting the values within the community at large. This class was different in that there was more research that had to be done, more collaboration among the students, and Humanities faculty. I am really proud of the mural and their work.”
However, what was supposed to be a one-time project quickly evolved into a broader, longer-term vision since the Humanities Building Mural Committee agreed both murals represented the Humanities division.
Thomas explained prior to the formal presentation that the committee would likely have a hard time deciding on just one mural concept. The committee chose Ashley Gilliland’s “No Limitations” mural idea and agreed the second mural could be done later.
Dean of Humanities Toni Castillo said she loved both mural concepts and wondered why the class could not do both after all. After talking with Thomas and the students, it was settled that the second mural would be completed in the spring as an honors project.
“The mural project is a perfect opportunity for the Humanities Division Art Program to showcase the exceptional talents of Rose State students,” Castillo said.
Castillo described her vision for the murals and how the art-work will impact upcoming RSC students.
“I am particularly gratified that the project is completely student driven—their vision, their presentation, their implementation—so eventually that entire upstairs corridor of our building will be a legacy of their values left for all who come here,” she said. “Professor Suzanne Thomas, who has headed the project, has shown particularly strong leadership in the way she has structured the class and worked with dedicated Honors Program students to complete the project, as those students have in turn reached out to involve area high school students. The project in that corridor will be ongoing for several years until we finally have a true venue for experiential art here at Rose.”