UISG pushes for new murals

By Elianna Novitch

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In order to represent the diversity and artistic talents of the University of Iowa, the UI Student Government will fund the creation of four murals on campus.

UISG is enlisting undergraduate students to submit their designs and take part in the creation of the murals that will be located in the pedestrian walkways under the railroad tracks that cross the Iowa River.

UI Facilities Management recommended the walkways as the murals’ location because of their accessibility and high student traffic.

The mural initiative is a part of the BLOC party platform. However, UISG has worked on promoting art on campus during a number of administrations in recent years.

“The initiative as a whole is to promote undergraduate art students and give them opportunities to display their art,” Sen. Emma Stier said.

While it is an art project, UISG encourages undergraduate students from all majors and backgrounds to apply.

The suggested theme for the designs are the under-represented at Iowa. Some suggested example ideas included Black at Iowa, LGBT at Iowa, International at Iowa, Women in STEM, and Women’s Athletics. However, all submissions will be considered by the committee.

“The theme in general is the experience at Iowa that isn’t really talked about or that people don’t know about,” Stier said.

Art imitates life, and organizers of the project are hoping to emulate that through the murals on campus.

“I think that art is a really great medium to use to represent under-represented students at Iowa,” Sen. Abby Simon said.

UISG does not have an estimate on how much the project will cost but will have a better idea once designs and materials are picked for creating the murals.

While the assumption is that the murals will be made using paint, the committee working on the project encourages suggestions for alternative means of production, such as collage, found-object, stencils, or spray paint.

The mural initiative is a three-year pilot program.

“Each year, [the walkways] will be repainted with new designs surrounding new themes,” Stier said. “After three years, we’ll re-evaluate with Facilities Management and UISG to decide what we want to do.”

A committee of UISG senators and art students has come together on the project. Stier says working with the art students has been great because they have great insight and their knowledge along with UISG’s resources is creating a great opportunity for undergraduate students to take part in.

The deadline to submit design proposals is March 26. The murals will be painted in April and May.

“I’m excited to see our campus become more beautified through unique artwork that’s being made by students,” Sen. Lindsey Rayner said. “It will be great to see those areas of campus be refreshed and allow for students and their artwork to be highlighted. This is a great opportunity for art to represent different aspects of campus.”

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