Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last minute design challenge!!

I have to thank a number of my students who came back to the studio during the past two days (just when they thought this ridiculous class was all over!) to help design and paint another 5 by 16 foot section of mural.  The size of this little “addition” would normally constitute a very large painting all by itself. Still, we need it badly to make sure the mural fits perfectly into the space where it's scheduled to be installed next Monday. (The installers believe it will take about 3-4 days to complete the complicated task of fitting together the 5 sections of paintings that will cover almost 1200 square feet of wall space.) Once completed the mural will go from one end of the 4th floor Palmer Commons lobby to the other, with cutouts for doorways, exit signs, and elevators.

The elevators are what caused the last minute design challenge. Once the mural was half finished we realized that some really special parts of the mural were going to be lost when we had to cut around the elevators. So, we shifted the mural to the right about four feet to avoid this problem—(which meant we had to cut out about four feet of our design on the opposite side as well--prior to painting).  I knew that this move was going to make us about four to five feet short on the opposite end--but I was hoping that it would be ok if we came up a bit short on one wall. However, I was wrong. The furthest section to the left now had some unfortunate real estate to deal with.  A particularly beautiful passage would have to now navigate around a utilities chase which would have rendered the faces in that section of the mural unmercifully deformed. 

Since my students had their last painting class already, and were now in the midst of studying for finals and writing papers, I really felt terrible having to ask those who could, to return to redesign and paint another 60 to 80 square feet of mural. But return they did.

My heartfelt gratitude goes out to Jesus, Simi, Anna, Daniela, Zach and Tashina for making great sacrifices, returning to the scene of the crime, and producing a final fantastic section of the mural.  These students really went beyond the call of duty to help ensure that this mural, newly enlarged, is going to be the very best ever!  My entire class has proven to be a very, very special group of students which has made this entire experience extremely gratifying for me as you can well imagine.

Please do come to our mural unveiling scheduled for Wednesday, January 25th, 2012, on the fourth floor of Palmer Commons. I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised.

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