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Giving back to the community: a new campus mural

Last year I was having my lunch break near a wall next to the McLane Hall building and I noticed how unsightly it looked.

It has a vent on it that looked slightly dirty. The wall was painted a very bland color. So I thought to myself, why not try to paint a mural on that wall?

Thousands of people pass through that area of campus every day – the courtyard behind the University Student Union. If I were to paint a mural on that wall, the positive impact that it could have on people would be immense.

Not only would it beautify an otherwise bland setting, it would also seek to deliver an impactful message of cultural and community enrichment, as well as individual growth and prosperity.

With that in mind, I began creating some ideas I had for the mural, even though I knew the odds of getting to paint the wall may be slim.

I had never even painted an outdoor mural before, let alone at a university. I had no idea how I would go about getting permission to paint the wall, or if the idea of doing so would even be viable.

I really wanted to bring this idea to fruition.

There were so many positive things that could come from it, and I could inspire so many people.

The more I thought about that, the more I knew I had to persevere and work as hard as I could to make it a reality.

So after many months of sending emails to different school officials and attending meetings, I was eventually granted the opportunity to present my mural design concept to a committee of Fresno State officials who supported the vision that I had for the mural.

They granted me permission to begin the mural during winter break of 2017.

I was able to afford the materials for creating the mural with funds that I had received from an art scholarship at Fresno State.

The mural is titled “Every Drop Of Life” and it depicts an abstract version of a heart with veins connected to it.

The veins symbolize us as people, all from different cultures and walks of life, and the heart represents the central life force to which we are all commonly connected as a community.

The heart was also a clever way to utilize the unsightly vent on the wall by turning it into an intriguing optical illusion.

The sun rising on the horizon below represents rising above strife and adversity, while the drips and spots of color throughout the mural depict a vibrant textural quality of passion.

I was amazed by the amount of positivity and support that I was shown by people who would pass while I was painting. Connecting with people, and hearing the great things they had to say was an amazing experience.

To me, that was just as important as the creation of the mural. It’s almost as if those positive experiences became a part of the mural itself.

I feel truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to share a piece of my art with the university and the community that I have grown up around.