So it is December 10th, and the day I thought was miles away has already come and gone. In the last 10 hours, our mostly-white and empty third segment of the mural has come to life in a rather remarkable way. It would be really easy to say that this process was a simple art class which I seemed to glide through with no problem, but I would be lying. With more emotion than I would like to admit, I feel as if I can confidently say "I am an artist." I was hesitant for a while, thinking I was undeserving of such a title, but after looking down from the staircase tonight and seeing what I have created, what WE have created, I can no longer doubt myself. This process has been nothing short of a challenge. With the encouraging voice of Mark in my ear, I had to reconstruct my view of art. I had to get rid of my 'realistic' eye and see the lines and the shades that I too often overlooked. I had to lose my notion that painting with a small brush was always okay. Its not! In fact, painting huge expanses of canvas is not only so refreshing, but it is liberating. With all the chaos of my freshman Fall at Michigan, I knew that twice a week, I had control over something, something so beautiful, something so powerful.
Yesterday WE finished OUR masterpiece. As the eleven of us, (twelve including good old Mark) cumulatively left our mark on the University of Michigan for a long time to come and it is an accomplishment I will smile about for a while. We have devoted our time and our attention to something much bigger than us, something that has molded us in more ways than one. Our individual artistic journeys slowly merged into one as we learned of each others' strengths and weaknesses. We learned to work together as a team, producing brilliant art for all to see. We learned to respect each others' space even if we wanted to be a part of it. This mural has brought some of the most unique people together into one studio and I have met friends I will have for a lifetime. But most importantly, I have met a teacher that has truly inspired me. Mark Tucker, thank you for telling me I am not always right. Thank you for pushing through my barriers, thank you for opening my eyes to a whole new world.
And so it is over. Oh, how I will miss it.
Anna J. Berger