The Creation of a Mural in the Multicultural Center and the Value of Public Art Projects
The Multicultural Center at EOU is a space where everyone is welcome and can use any of the resources available: printing, tables, chairs, computers, and assistance from student workers. To continue to capture the motto of welcoming everyone, Bennie Moses-Mesubed and Susan Murrell decided a mural designed by the Multicultural Center, Art Department, and EOU students would be able to create a welcoming environment for students of all cultures. EOU is supposed to be a safe place, and hopefully with this mural, students will feel like they belong.
Moses-Mesubed and Murrell are perfect for starting the project because Moses-Mesubed is the Director of Student Diversity, and Murrell is an art professor with a background in public art projects. Together they decided to begin this project and involve Eastern’s own art students. Murrell stated, “It is a good learning opportunity and an experience that will help give them confidence in their abilities as a creative professional. I felt it was important for students to feel ownership over whatever was created.” Students helped create this mural to create a sense of belonging for other students: students helping students.
As the project began to form, the students and staff that were involved gathered at the Multicultural Center to start broad ideas and even rough sketches of the mural. “Students just kept getting more and more specific until they found elements, like water or decorative patterning, that seemed to overlap into something visually and conceptually interesting,” Murrell added. Until they came to the final design of sky, land, and sea animals, tribal and decorative patterns, and a landscape that fades from the arctic to the tropics. Murrell felt as though a mural would create a space in which people feel they are welcome and belong. “Historically, art in public spaces generates a hub. It can create a reason for people to linger and interact with one another,” commented Murrell.
Go head into the Multicultural Center and check out the group work of the Art Department, Multicultural Center, and EOU students!