OCTOBER 5, 2012
by Jenn Summers ’13, Contributing Writer
Been wondering about the students spray-painting a trailer in front of Roe Art Building this week? The project is the next phase of Furman’s Poinsett Project. Twenty student volunteers from all majors are collaborating with a professional artist to design and decorate a ten-by-seven foot trailer to be used to inspire community members and haul equipment for future Poinsett corridor beautification workdays.
The idea behind the eye-popping mural came from art professor Ross McLain, who explained that they were eager to implement the arts as a way to involve Furman with developing the Poinsett corridor. The art department invited professional artist Drew Brophy, who has 25 years of professional artistic experience, from California to discuss how to lead a career in art and, in the meantime, assist with the project.
“This is a great way for Furman students to get out in the community,” said freshman Ben Riddle, who is serving as part of the student leadership of the Poinsett Project and also serves as an intern under President Smolla.
Riddle plays a key role in the mural project after recently traveling to Potsdam, Germany, to attend a conference about “design thinking,” a problem solving technique that uses artistic and creative methods to meet community-centered goals. Riddle collaborated with President Smolla and McLain to create this mural project. Ultimately, the trailer will serve as a pop-up studio and home base for community events, conversation circles, art demonstrations, service projects and design thinking workshops on the Poinsett corridor.
“We want this mural project to blur the lines between Furman and the community,” explained Riddle.
A green field serves as the mural’s backdrop, along with the Furman bell tower, rolling mountains in the distance, and other symbolic images, all completed by volunteers with donated paint and pens.
The painting will continue until around 6 p.m. today. University photographer Jeremy Fleming has captured some images of the project. View his work.