Mural project teaches lessons about art and life

  Monday, October 12, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Mural project teaches lessons about art and life

The students in Jamie Oliver’s Mural and Large-Scale Painting class have been learning a lot about painting on a grand scale and also about life this semester.

The class, in Pittsburg State University’s Art Department, created a large mural that was installed in downtown Pittsburg just in time for the Art Walk on Oct. 30. Oliver, a professor in the Art Department, said the students have learned not only about the techniques used to create murals, but also about the skills needed to work with clients.

The students were commissioned to do the work, which was installed on the south wall of the Beck and Hill Meat Market on Broadway, by Pittsburg’s Downtown District Committee. Funding for the art came from a grant from the SEK Art Fest.

Oliver said each of the 12 students in his class submitted a design, based on a set of criteria developed by the Downtown District Committee. The committee selected one design from that group.

The 12-foot-by-24-foot mural is actually a collection of 4-foot-by-8-foot MDO signboard panels that was put together when the mural was installed. The students prepared the sign boards and transferred the design to the boards using the pouncing method, the same technique Michelangelo used on the Sistine Chapel.

Oliver said working in groups can be challenging for artists who are used to the very personal expression that solitary painting allows.

“Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses,” said Brianna Harris. “You can learn a lot from working with others.”

Oliver said the students learned a lot about schedules, deadlines and other aspects of the work world with this project.

“The mural had to be finished and ready for installation to make the Oct. 30 deadline,” Oliver said, “so we started with a pretty detailed schedule. I’m happy with the way the students stuck to the schedule and made their deadlines. They should all be proud of their work.”



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