Mural Shows Record Keeping Through the Ages

November 4, 2003

The hallway leading up to the Office of the Registrar at Mary Baldwin University has been treated to an artistic makeover.

A mural by senior art major Jennifer Southerington, depicting record keeping over the centuries, covers a wall along a flight of stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, a prehistoric cave-painting scene portrays the earliest documentation. The next section of the mural shows Egyptians creating hieroglyphics. As the stairs ascend, the mural progresses through time, illustrating a monastery filled with volumes and manuscripts and then the college’s Grafton Library.

Incorporated into the mural are the familiar faces of faculty and staff members, including Lewis D. Askegaard, dean of institutional research, associate dean of the college and registrar, and members of his staff: Nancy Keaton, Jan Galvin, Trudi Huffman, and Sharon Philips. Southerington also painted her advisor, Paul Ryan, associate professor of art, and other key Mary Baldwin figures, including President Pamela Fox.

For a concentration in illustration in her major, Southerington has undertaken several independent study assignments. “We were looking for projects for me to do,” she says. Southerington got the idea for a mural by looking at what students at other colleges had done. “I brought up the possibility, and then Paul remembered that Lew Askegaard had asked a few years ago if there was a student who could do some mural work for them,” she says.

Southerington began the project last spring. The mural was unveiled at a reception November 13.

The staff seems to like Southerington’s work. “I think it’s very creative,” said Askegaard, who is shown in the mural as an Egyptian scribe. “What could be more boring than a registrar’s office? We figured the mural would be just the thing to brighten it up.”

Recently, Southerington wonProphecy Magazine’sfirst Student Graphics Novel Contest. Her work will be published by Sequent Media in spring 2004. After graduation, Southerington plans to pursue a career in art. “I want to create comic books and do book illustrations and covers.”