The University of Utah’s Department of Art & Art History and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences began the collaborative process spring 2019 to create a new community-based mural at the Browning Building entrance. Students in the Urban Artworks and Painting Special Topics courses and CMES students, faculty, and staff joined in dialogue to develop imagery for the new 160 square foot mural.
Our art-making process is multi-faceted with shared goals of the medium of murals and working together to form the message. Student artists and CMES members initially met to enter into dialogue to understand and perceive how we all exist at the mural site. After participants reviewed secondary material, we began creating the mural imagery, going over objectives through evaluation to realize multiple focuses of themes. As a team, we select ideas that stimulate community dialogue. Together we codified our ideas, translating our research into seven to-scale maquettes. We are now presenting the maquettes to the university community and requesting you to select the image that best typifies your community.
Due to the Coronavirus, we altered our traditional mural making process with technology. The final mural will be printed from the winning design on aluminum to reflect the artist’s hands. Please vote for your selection by November 13, 2020 to ensure the mural is in place to begin spring semester 2021.
This work focuses on each department within the College of Mines and Earth Sciences while not completely separating them from one another. There is a lot of interconnectivity throughout the piece, shown through one element flowing into another element. This is to emphasize sustainability, recycling materials, and the natural cycles of life. In addition, this continuity helps to bring these different colleges and elements together with the idea that all of the colleges may work with one another in order to better do research, move forward sustainably, and benefit the overall health of the planet. To further emphasize the need for more sustainable practices and the ways in which each of these departments move toward a healthier future for the planet, a message has been disguised into the elements that states “Save Our Planet”. Hidden messages will make this image more pleasing to people who may not notice the message initially as well as continue this idea of inclusivity and interconnectivity between the elements, departments, and people, though the statement of “Our” planet. As well as a hidden message, there are also some hidden elements such as a fish fossil referenced from the Fredrick Albert Sutton building in which the mural will be displayed. The sun in the center of the work can hold different meanings to different people and is up for interpretation. Some interpretations may suggest that this planet and thus all the elements on the planet, such as in the artwork, orbit the sun. While other interpretations may state that the sun is one of the main sources for life on this planet, or could even make suggestions towards the warming of the planet. Black used for the background color references outer space that surrounds our planet and makes up our universe. In addition, the choice of the wall color is to compliment this black without having much contrast, to emphasize how vast space around the earth is. Overall, this work focuses on each department within the college of mines and earth sciences, the recycling of elements and materials, and working together in order to save our planet.
Each of these disciplines has specific story and history, but it is more interesting nd important to think about them together. The cooperation and interaction of the disciplines is formed where they’re connected to the earth and nature on the one hand and to man on the other. This composition shows a volcanic mountain which is erupting, metallurgy casting, geologicaI chart (cross-section of the earth), steel roll, and caving sub level. At the top of the volcano, metallurgic casting machine is pouring molten metal into the crater, stabilizing and extinguishing the molten Iayers inside the mountain. The cast aIso formed a yellow molten steel strip that moved and formed a dinosaur on the right. There are cumulus clouds in the blue sky and a pine tree on the left. A drilling and extraction site is displayed in the middle right. According to the location of the wall, which is located in a smaII space, I try to use long shot composition, and design everything smaller to have enought space to put more information and more story. An attempt has been made to design in a way that shows the space larger and deeper.
In this image, the main idea is about the cycle of decomposition, extraction, and reproduction, also there is some emphasis on the recycling process. The impact of science on human life as a savior and solving problems and dangers has also been discussed. The movement of the ribbon like metal in the air refers to the production system. It starts from the crater and refers to the extraction and prodcuation process. The transformation of metal into a dinosaur refers to the achievements of science in a field of discovery and production. Finally, the transformation of the dinosaur into a skeleton near the cooled lava of the volcano is a sign of decay and return to Earth.
While researching your four departments I noticed just how united they are through the land that we all share. I took note of the respect that you have for the environment, its history, and your vision for the future. My culture blesses one another by saying Walk in Beauty. Walking in Beauty means to overcome spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental fears. So that we can have peace, happiness, joy, and confidence. I wanted to capture this saying in my painting and be able to give it to whoever passes it. I’ve also hidden four of Utah’s landmarks near the river. This includes a mountain range to reference the Wasatch range, the Delicate Arch from Moab, Bears Ears, and Monument Valley. The river is a huge focal point. It doesn’t only reference how rivers molded this land but also the fact that water is life and life is growing. Here at the University of Utah students will grow by studying. Studying to practice, discover, and sustain the land that we share.
The purpose of this mural is to create an environment that welcomes all individuals entering the building, creating an image that also uses elements from each department of the College of Earth Science and Engineering. After touring the bilding, I found the artworks, installations, and architectural elements of the building offer a unique and quite academic feel. Yet, it still creates a comfortable and sociable environment that fosters a community within its walls. For this mural I felt it would be most successful for it to fit the aesthetics of the building it is in, so I came to the idea of a museum, an interactive museum to be precise. The purpose of an interactive museum is to teach academic theory ina. way that is hands-on, as many physical sciences are taught. Using recognizable imagery from each department, such as prehistoric skeletons, molten metals, modeul dispalys of solid shapes, and an assortment of weatehr instruments to incorporate the many subjects of Earth Science and Engineering. I know that many of us were taken to museums as children, or even as adults, for me those were always fond memories, memories of learnign and having fun, thus this mural will also bring an emotional response from its viewers, a relatability that can transcend past just this college but to all those who enter the building. The entrnace where this mural will be displayed is a smaller and more narrow area, which creates the problem “how can we create something that doesn’t make the area feel smaller?” Therefore to solve this issue, instead of creating a mural that is flat, I have opened up the space to give a sense of depth that will change the structure of the room. Painting the illusion that the room is much larger than it appears, including adding murals within this mural, making it a more pleasant experience to enter. I don’t want this mural to simply be an image on a wall but an experience each time you enter, noticing something new you had not the last time, yet always stopping to take the full image in.
At initial thought, when one thinks of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, one might just think about the Earth. It’s a blanket statement with no real depth behind it. Yet, what I have enjoyed learning about the College is the dedication it has. With dedication, comes depth. Each deparbnent does so much and researches meticulously. A theme across them all is innovation, sustainability, and knowing that the future comes from understanding the past – which means understanding the Earth. I wanted to focus on that, and specifically understanding why Utal1 is so special to the College. Utah has a plethora of geological and historical areas. Take our National Parks as an example – They each have an unique climate, minerals, rock formations, and more. The historical sites have been important to our development in moving forward more efficiently as well. Along with everything, these places are breathtaking. When everything is focused, it helps to take a break and look at something calming and pretty. That’s what I wanted to do here. To focus on Utah, how it ties to the College and each department within, and it’s beauty. A topographical map of Utah, and major historical and geological sites. All done with vibrant, and earthy tones in a soothing repetitive pattern. Hopefully, to have a sense of calm attached to it and instill a small sense of wonder – in order to drive forward the dedication it takes for the research and innovation the College is striving for.
My key objective in this piece was to highlight the myriad of opportunities offered by the university’s geology department. This mural showcases Utah’s natural beauty while simultaneously fostering curiosity amongst all of the department’s prospective students. The piece highlights the complexities and overlapping nature between the colleges of Geology, Metallurgy, Mining, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. Through highlighting elements of each college, as well as the state of Utah, this mural would be an inspiring landmark for new students within the Geology field. Each element within the painting builds on itself, thereby weaving together to form a story of the past, present, and future. When in the presence of this mural, future students visiting the college will be inspired to take on their new journey, current students will be encouraged and remember what makes Utah great, and alumni will instantly feel proud of their major choice and alma-mater. The panel chose sustainability as a central theme. Sustainability is the power to create a future that remembers and respects the past. This painting embodies sustainability by inspiring students to respect their beautiful state. This painting is solely composed of natural landmarks found within Utah. In this painting, you can find Canyon de Chelly, Arches National Park, a slot canyon, various petroglyphs, the Bonneville Shoreline, a metallurgy bucket dripping multant metal, the different layers of the Earth, Kennecott Mines, Wind Energy Windmills, a seismograph, Spiral Getty, hands holding water, Allosaurus jimmadseni (the recent dinosaur discovered by the University of Utah), and Evergreen Trees that symbolize the pine needles that tell us about the quality of the air (also discovered by the University of Utah atmospheric college). This mural symbolizes the wonder and awe of Utah’s landmarks. This mural would inspire students to treat nature sustainably. Any prospective geology student who passes by would instantly be reminded of the importance of upholding Utah’s natural beauty.
The idea behind my proposal for this mural was to show the flow and movement of energies and systems and their effects on each other through the use of symbols that represent both the earth’s natural forces and the colleges themselves. The piece includes climate measurement instruments, seismographic and geological activity, manufactured metals, rare earth gems, and the copper mines local to Utah. By showing natural phenomenon paired with objects of our influence, such as the inclusion of meteorological antennae, seismograph paper, raw metals, etc. I hope to illustrate where each college intersects, both in relation to their field of study and interest, and also to the earth’s natural cycles and elements. The most crucial part of the peace for me was capturing a sense of unmense energy. I wanted to charge the image with as much volatile action and movement as possible, letting the lightning storms lead the viewer’s eyes to the volcanic eruption, which in turn leads toward the metals springing forth from the ground and the water flowing up against the mines. This arc of motion is meant to lead the viewer from one end of the composition to the other, and from the entrance to the door of the building, in effect transporting the viewer visually, emotionally, and physically into the college.