Despite the hot weather, a group of students worked on campus murals that are replicas of “The Scream” and “Guernica” to promote social justice on the wall of the parking lot at Brick City.
This project was for a summer class called Selected Topics in Art and Design. The six students enrolled in the class worked on replications of famous artworks as social justice.
“Social justice murals have been a popular topic of art education for decades. It’s not a new idea,” Steve Willis, professor and coordinator of art education, said.
“The Scream” by Edvard Munch gave a message to “protect our environment” and “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso gave a message to “end violence.”
“Creating art that interacts with social justice is important because all viewers in the community are able to connect with the art,” Reagan A. Lutz, senior art and design major and MSU National Art Education Association president, said. Lutz was also one of the six students painting the murals.
According to the class description, the purpose of campus murals was to “develop aesthetic awareness (cultural, ethical and geographical), processes and production, critical and analytical strategies and historical perspectives.”
“(The students) are required to research social justice murals and rights (and write) three response articles on what that means to them,” Willis said.
The class also provided teaching resources for students who wanted to pursue teaching and producing of art for social justice.
“They each create a unit that they will teach in future school,” Willis said.
According to Willis, the weather was hot but the students still wanted to be outside and paint the murals. They worked on the project for the whole summer.
“It’s kind of interesting that they volunteer to spend money on tuition to come under the heat of the summer to do murals,” Willis said.
For Lutz, the opportunity to learn was worth dealing with the summer heat.
“I chose this class despite the hot weather because I was so intrigued with learning how to paint at a large scale,” Lutz said. “I wanted to have the experience and put myself out there as an artist, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.”