Expansive Mural Takes Shape Outside Spencer Center

May 12, 2009

Update 5/18/09:A dedication ceremony for the May Term mural was held at May 18 at the Spencer Center. Students talked about the design and read their artists’ statement, and a guests were treated to a slideshow of images from Mary Baldwin film students during the Spring Break 2009 trip to El Salvador led by artist Claudia Bernardi, who also led the mural project.

Mary Baldwin Artist-in-Residence Claudia Bernardi, right, talks with students creating a giant mural on campusA few weeks ago, it was just a plain, cream-colored, unassuming wall in front of the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement. Today, the 70-foot span of brick dances with color and images that tell a story unique to Mary Baldwin University. Designed and painted by Mary Baldwin students under the guidance of international human rights activist and artist Claudia Bernardi, the mural is the primary project of the three-week May Term course Building Peace in which 15 students are enrolled — some of whom recently returned from a Spring Break trip to El Salvador with Bernardi where they created a similar mural in collaboration with villagers.

Students work on the beginning stages of painting the mural outside the Spencer Center on campusWhen the mural is finished, an artists’ statement from students will explain the genesis of the mural and the meaning of elements they chose to include, such as a clinic founded in El Salvador by a friend of Mary Baldwin University and the women who hold up the familiar Mary Baldwin cupola atop Hunt Dining Hall. The narrative will be housed in the Spencer Center.

The wall is evolving daily, so check back often for more pictures!