Realialogo2whitePerspective REALIA at the University of Utah allows students in the Department of Art & Art History the opportunity to propose, create, and implement public art in the form of mural designs and paintings throughout the Salt Lake City area. Students have the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in creating large-scale site-specific public art, establishing relationships with other artists and developing teamwork values, mentoring elementary/secondary students to the process and applications of mural painting, and navigating the challenges of educating and applying their ideas and practices with business owners and community leaders. Students share a rewarding experience that brings together a community using their own creative talents.

These murals are not only for the benefit of our students; they are unique and bring life and beauty to our community and surroundings. We are always looking for community partners that want to help the program by hosting one of our projects at their location. We can work together to bring our passion for art to help beautify and unite your community.

Professor Kim Martinez started the class in 2003. Since then, students in the Department of Art & Art History participate in the creation of 2 murals when the class is offered each fall semester. Martinez says of the program “The project was set up with the broad goal of bettering the artists’ social horizons, allowing them to connect with people and the community. Painters especially make their art in isolation, so the mural projects are a way for painters to become more engaged socially.

"People get excited about work that actually happens. You can spend years talking about the intent, but until it comes to life it doesn’t mean anything to people. When murals come to life, it gets community members and other artists excited because their work becomes part of the community. Actually showcasing this work that otherwise is underground and behind the scenes is important to me as an educator. It’s important to make it into something real, something with recognition."