BC Students Inspire Others Through Chalk Mural
The East River mural is drawing lots of attention.
April 10, 2012
Prospective students, traditional students, faculty, and staff alike are all saying the same thing: The East River Hall mural is incredible.
“I think it’s exciting to see students taking an initiative to put art on campus, especially art with a whimsical element,” said Maggie Lavoie, a BC alumna and traditional admissions counselor. “With touring families, both the Lorax mural and the word art [Before the Lorax mural, students shared words that inspired them.] have generated a lot of questions and intrigue.”
BC Students Working on the Lorax Mural
Lavoie said prospective students always comment on the mural because it makes the campus look “cool and fun.”
The main mural artists were sophomore Jaclyn Bissett and sophomore Meredith Simkins. Both are art majors at BC.
“It started because we wanted to cover up the word art,” said Bissett. “The hype from the movie put the Lorax in our minds. In a way it was a whim.”
The team began nearly two weeks ago, with the help of friends and other BC students.
“I assisted with it, just a little,” said Missy Hubert, a sophomore art major. “I did the green on the left hand side and the top of the purple tree. I walked by one day and didn’t have anything to do. I offered help, and I just started. I got really messy and I didn’t even care.”
The mural has brought students together as a team. Many afternoons East River Hall residents would stop by to help, talk, or just watch as the mural was created.
“It is so amazing that we have such talented students at Bluefield College,” said Jahlisa Harvey, a sophomore communications major. “I feel we should encourage them more. Also, there should be a mural inspired by Twilight.”
Simkins gave Bissett the credit for the idea of the mural.
“It was Jaclyn’s idea and I went with it,” said Simkins. “It was a lot of fun.”
Bisset estimated that around 10 hours had gone into the making of the mural.
One expense of making the mural was purchasing the large amount of chalk needed.
“Between everyone who bought chalk it cost between $35-45,” said Bissett. “And we’re not even done with it.”
The mural doesn’t need much work for full completion. The sky and grass just need to be further filled in.
David Taylor, vice president of student development, said that he was glad students were able to use this as a form of expression.
“As someone who works with residents, I think that it’s a very creative use of art and expression,” said Taylor. “I hope the students gained permission from a resident hall director or someone in student development. But we don’t ever want to stifle artistic expression.”
Amanda Heller, a BC sophomore and Cruise Hall Resident Assistant (RA), also spoke about the value of expression.
“The artists who chalked the mural should be able to express their artistic language on other buildings to inspire BC students,” said Heller. “I would love there to be a mural inspired by Forest Gump.”
Lauren Pillow is an RA in East River Hall with a similar take on the mural.
“I personally love it because I think it’s a fun expression of the different talents that people have on campus,” said Pillow. “It’s a cool reminder that we’re diverse and full of really skilled people.”
The mural has done more than spark conversations. Two BC students, Heather Paisley and Courtney Dutton, were inspired to clean up trash.
“Seeing the Lorax mural and watching the time it took to create it inspired me to pick up trash and beautify the campus,” said Paisley. “I picked up trash with my best friend, Courtney, and the experience made me see not only how beautiful the world is, but how beautiful friendship is.”
As students continue to talk about the mural, there has already been discussion about a “next mural” on a BC building. Bissett shared her future ideas.
“We’ve been talking about what we could do next,” said Bissett. “Carrie Smith thinks that it would be awesome to do a new one every year, and make it a BC tradition. Meredith and I have been talking about something involving zombies and unicorns. Maybe make the brick look like its crumbling away with a fantasy scene on the inside.”
BC students are eager to see what the artists might do next.