MVNU’s Office of Intercultural Life will create a brand new mural on campus to represent the campus community and the new Shine Forth brand.
Sophomore Michaela Hughes had the vision for the project, proposing that we make a mural that would artistically and relationally tie everyone together and serve to remind us of who we are as a campus community.
“The idea of creating a mural requires so much work from a lot of people, so seeing people working together to build something and having the finished product hopefully will give them the idea that they can move forward as well,” she said.
Hughes also wants the mural to be seen as a connecting point for students, an outlet for self-expression.
“The idea was really personal for me, because I've dealt a lot with fear of just opening up and expressing myself to people,” Hughes said. “It was really something kind of like my testimony; I wanted to do something that I knew would uplift people.”
The purpose of the mural will be to give MVNU students a voice and a platform to express themselves, bring people together, convey a meaningful message, build success and hope and expand the concept of history and history makers.
Hughes hopes that the mural will resemble the college experience. She said that though college is a time that can be difficult and overwhelming, it is also a time of growth and finding who you are.
“I wanted to show all of those things, and art can do that,” she said.
Jim Singletary, director of the Office of Intercultural Life, said that Hughes’ vision comes at a perfect time to coincide with the new Shine Forth brand.
“We’re hoping that as they roll that out and refocus on who we are and what we’re about, this is a project that really will help the community lock into that but also participate in something that I like to think is fairly powerful,” he said.
One of the most important aspects of the project for both Hughes and Singletary is incorporating everyone in the community and representing the diversity that is present on our campus.
“We’re on a campus where diversity is growing, and we want to be able to celebrate who we are internally and grow together and grow stronger,” Singletary said. “I think this project will help that along, to fulfill that.”
“We’ll have a time where the whole campus can come,” Hughes said. “My goal is to have them either write what Shine Forth means to them personally, put their handprint on there, or put a fingerprint on there, so there will hopefully be three options so everyone can be involved with the final product.”
“The goal is to get every single person to some way, somehow be a part, to leave some mark on that,” Singletary agreed. “So when it’s all said and done, we’ve connected the family together.”
Hughes and Singletary are currently at the beginning stages of planning, and are focusing on organizing a team to carry out the project.
“The big question is: where’s it gonna go?” Singletary said. “We don’t know.”
Hughes agreed that though they have an ideal location for the mural, between acquiring permits and working with administration, getting everything to come together has been difficult so far.
“The goal is to have the two hallway walls [in the PSU] where the cardio room and the two gyms are connecting,” Hughes said. “It’s supposed to be symbolic, because you’re looking at art and you’re moving forward, so it’s like a path.”
The project is funded by The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) with a grant from Libbey, Inc. and Timken Steel Corporation. In accordance with the grant funding, the mural has to be completed by April 2016, just in time for graduation.
“Dr. Spaulding thinks it’s a great time to expose graduates and families to something that significant, if we can get it done,” Singletary said.