Art students complete new mural for Fretwell Building

On the third floor of the Fretwell Building is a new mural — the latest project by students in the mixed-media studio taught by painting professor Maja Godlewska and printmaking professor Erik Waterkotte.

“Intercoalescence,” located outside of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, was commissioned by Beth Whitaker, interim associate dean and executive director of interdisciplinary studies.

art students and professorsWhitaker, who met with the student artists during this past fall semester, said, “We had a lively discussion about what it means to do interdisciplinary work, and how bringing people together with different areas of expertise can lead to creative collisions and groundbreaking innovations.”

The class studied Henri Matisse’s paper cutouts as inspiration for the mural. They then created a collage of cut paper and acrylic marker drawings, which was photographed and enlarged to twice the size to create a wall wrap that is flat but appears three dimensional, said Waterkotte.

“The cutout-colored paper process provided a unique visual language that the class could share and collaborate on. The cutouts also provided distinct forms, layers and shadows that could translate well when photographed and enlarged,” he added.

Whitaker said “Intercoalescence” serves as a compelling metaphor for the academic programs and research of Interdisciplinary Studies.

“With its combination of colors and elements in different layers, the mural that the students subsequently created does a great job representing the energy, imagination and even tension that can characterize interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Godlewska and Waterkotte have taught the mixed-media class since fall 2016, and the work of their students can be seen across campus, from Atkins Library to the Colvard Building breezeway.