UNT art students painting, sculpting two massive murals

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What: University of North Texas undergraduate art students are getting hands-on experience creating two murals in a new mural class offered through the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design.

When: The finished murals will be on display July 5 through Aug. 4 (Saturday)
Opening Reception: 5 p.m. July 5 (Thursday)

Media: Get photos and video of students painting and sculpting two large murals from noon to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays until July 3 (Tuesday).

Where: Lightwell Gallery on the first floor of the UNT Art Building, one block west of Mulberry and Welch streets.

Cost: Free

Contact: www.gallery.unt.edu or 940-565-4316

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- This summer, University of North Texas undergraduate art students are teaming up to fill two huge blank canvases -- white walls in the Lightwell Gallery of the Art Building.

The 27 students in the new mural class offered through the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design are getting hands-on mural-making experience in the five-week course. They'll spend the next two weeks painting and sculpting to create two murals -- each stretching 37 feet long and 10 feet high. These real-life skills are expanding their expertise and preparing them for careers, students say.

"This is a skill set people want -- someone who can make murals and handle everything from the proposal to the budget," said Emily Brown, a senior from Houston majoring in painting and drawing.

What will the murals look like?
One mural will be a colorful painting with a tree showing the school as a place of growth, a footbridge illustrating students' journey to the future, swimming fish and half of a girl's face. The mural on the opposite wall will be entirely white with sculptural pieces -- made of wire mesh, starched cloth and spray installation foam -- coming out of the wall.

When can the public see the murals?
The students spent the first day of mural-making using blue chalk to build grids of one-foot squares on each mural. They'll spend the next two weeks painting and sculpting. An opening reception to show off the finished murals will be held at 5 p.m. July 5, and the finished murals will be on display July 5 until Aug. 4 (Saturday) in the Lightwell Gallery of the UNT Art Building.

What are students learning in the mural class?
Students are taught by Blayre Stiller and Giovanni Valderas, both of whom earned master of fine arts degrees in painting from UNT. Stiller and Valderas taught students about the history of muralism and invited professional Dallas muralists to talk to the students about the work. Students study the impact of murals in the community -- as well as how the community impacts art.

"It's like eye candy," Valderas said of murals. "But it brings attention to certain things and raises social awareness."

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108


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