Student Newspaper to Host Free Speech/Color Wall Event

Drawing and writing on walls tends to be frowned on, whether the artist is a child with a crayon, or someone older with another tool. However, Physical Plant has granted permission for Mary Baldwin University students to scrawl on the wall behind Hunt Dining Hall. The Say it With Color event March 23 and 24 will kick off an ongoing project to promote free speech and free art expression. 

Inspired by the work of Mary Baldwin Artist-in-Residence and muralist Claudia Bernardi, who will be again teach a May Term class this year, the staff and advisors of student newspaper Campus Comments began looking forward to this event in the fall. After staff re-launched the paper online in September, their hope was to host a campus-wide event when the paper was more established, and a wall event captured imaginations. At a recent meeting, it was noted that March 27 is the Hindu holiday, Holi, the Festival of Color, and Say it with Color resulted.

VWIL cadet Shekira Ramdass, who spent a semester at Lady Doak College in India and helped represent the country at the International Festival, explained, “The abundant colors associated with the festival represent the beauty of spring.”

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies Amy Miller, Spencer Center Executive Director Steve Grande, and members of Cosmos International Club also expressed their enthusiasm for the upcoming event, which will coincide with an important prospective student visit day for the college.

“I think it will be great for new students to see our students engaged in an event,” said Lisa Wells, associate dean of the college.

Campus Comments hopes to make this event — which brings together color and open dialogue — an annual occurrence. Chalk, the only material to be used on the porous, old wall, will be provided. Artists and writers are free to express themselves, but discretion is appreciated. Say it with Color will take place 1–4 p.m. on March 23 and 24.