Art students paint poetic mural of Columbus on Main Campus.
Columbus State University invites one Amos visiting scholar in Latin American Studies each semester. This fall, Professor Gabriel Villa has that honor. Villa submitted a successful proposal for a mural class and now students on CSU’s main campus can see art students splattered with paint and images appearing in bright colors on the wall outside of the dining hall.
The process behind this mural, titled “What the Water Gave Us,” has been long, according to Lindsey Calhoun who is one of the many paint-speckled artists working with Villa. Students first met in a classroom for over a month and designed the mural from scratch. They took inspiration from CSU’s Pasaquan, and Villa’s desire for the mural to represent the locale. Every student drew their own mural, and pieces were taken from each student’s design to create the draft.
“No one can really say this my part because we all had ideas and worked together,” said Calhoun. As for the placement of the mural, Villa knew it would be on campus, but was not sure where. “It was going to be on campus because we want to bridge the campuses together,” Villa said as he pointed to a colorful section of the mural.
One of the challenges of creating this mural, according to Villa, has been the need for students to work together. “Students struggle because we are taught to work independently, but murals allow people to work together.”
There are other references to Columbus’s history, such as textiles, a cougar, and a locomotive pulling these various aspects together. However, Villa does not want the mural to be seen as a historical piece. Instead, he and his students view it as a poetic piece. “My goal,” said Villa, “was to speak of the culture here, but also the mural should feel like it was painted by one hand.”
As he and his students continue to work, the picture and message of the piece is beginning to come together. Though Villa and his students have the entire semester to work on the mural, they hope to be finished by mid-November.
April 26, 2018
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