The hall approaching the Academic Success Center at East Central University now has swirls of bright colors and tigers stretching over the expansive wall.
ECU Art Professor Anne Yoncha led her students through a two-semester project to transform the once blank wall into a cheerful mural that includes flowers, a sunset, birds, and – of course – tigers.
The mural project provided real-world experience for the students as they met with Academic Success Center staff to determine a design plan and draft a mock-up of the mural, similar to how an artist meets with a prospective client.
“It’s rare for an organization to trust students to take over like this, but we wanted to give our students an opportunity to share their talents in a meaningful and lasting way,” said Dr. Haley Matlock, director of ECU’s Academic Success Center.
At the unveiling of the mural, students who took part in the creative process said the project was exhausting, but worth it over the two semesters of work and collaboration. Their signatures are sprinkled throughout the mural.
At the unveiling of the mural, ECU Provost Dr. Jeffrey Gibson praised the dedication of the art students and visited with students to learn more about their individual contributions to the mural.
John Woolly, one of the many students who took part in the creative process, said the project was exhausting, but worthwhile.
“It was rewarding to be a part of the process and watching as it unfolds,” Wooley said.
“We put ideas out there and we chose what to implement,” art student Tiara Gore said. “When we got stumped, we worked together to get ideas.”
The mural leading to the Academic Success Center on the second floor of the Administration building contains six tigers, an artist’s replica of the Tiger Fountain, paw prints, tiger lilies, hibiscus, bamboo, tropical birds and a sunset landscape.
Dara Archer said although the blending of paints to create the sunset was challenging, it turned out peaceful.
“It took three brushes and two people,” she said. “The textured walls were a challenge as we tried to keep straighter lines.”
Alyssa Dodd took a picture of the Tiger Fountain (located in front of Science Hall) and referred to it while painting the image.
Gianna Loboda said images were projected on the wall to help capture the realistic images of the plants incorporated in the mural.
“We asked what plants grow where the tigers live,” Loboda said.
Students in Yoncha’s painting and watercolor classes collaborated on the mural. Those students include Dara Archer, Rain Armstrong, Malik Augustine, Gage Beam, Abby Davis, Alyssa Dodd, Tiara Gore, B’Riannon Greer, Helena Hedges, Lindsay Humphries, Ashley Jones, Gianna Loboda, Stuart Osborn, Gracie Pillow, Colton Ray, Justin Sampson, Athena Scroggins, Dallyn Sullivan, Hanna Ward, Emily Wigley, Nina Wilson, Danielle Woolly and Johnie Woolly.
Students enrolling for the Fall 2023 semester can see the mural as they walk to the office for appointments. For more information for new freshmen enrollment, visit ecok.edu/asc, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 580-559-5696.