To help beautify the cafeteria construction, Oklahoma Christian University’s marketing team requested students, faculty and staff members submit sketches for a mural to be painted on the large piece of plywood next to Chick-Fil-A. Submissions for the mural were due Nov. 4, and the winner will be announced sometime this week.
According to student announcements, the completed mural is due by Thanksgiving break and will “bring some of the cool OKC mural vibe to OC’s campus.” Two of the applicants include a team of six and a solo artist, Lauren Rucker, who is a staff member at Oklahoma Christian.
“[The mural] is a great opportunity for the community to contribute rather than [marketing] just hiring somebody that may not be associated with the university,” Rucker said.
Rucker said she has painted murals before and was asked to paint murals in waiting rooms of a new Children’s Hospital once they find a building to operate in.
“I’ve always enjoyed painting murals, and since the contest said it was open to students, staff and faculty, I was like, ‘You know, this could just be a fun thing to design up and see what else people contribute,’” Rucker said.
If selected to paint the mural, Rucker said her husband has already committed to bringing her dinner and coffee. She also said two weeks is not much time to create a mural this large, so she kept her design simple enough to complete in the time required.
“[Marketing] wanted wings for a photo-opportunity, and I was trying to think about what symbolism there could be for students,” Rucker said. “I thought of the phrase ‘soar on wings like eagles,’ and then I thought about all of the students who will graduate and chase their own careers. I incorporated future careers of people into the wings, so when they stand in front it’s symbolic of the cool things [students] are going to do after college.”
Junior Christian Reyes, a graphic design major, and senior Taylor Glover, a mathematics major, formed the team of six, which submitted ideas for the mural. Both Glover and Reyes where surprised when they heard about the opportunity for students to paint a mural on campus.
“I wondered if they were doing anything with the boards up there because surely they weren’t just going to leave it,” Reyes said. “I expected them to use it as a place to broadcast things like homecoming, Spring Sing and Lighting of the Commons.”
Reyes said he has wanted students to be able to do a mural on campus since his freshman year and thinks this is a great opportunity for change.
“There’s not really anywhere on campus for students to broadcast their artistic abilities other than if you work for the marketing office or if you are doing stuff for your club,” Reyes said. “It’s always kind of a static look across campus.”
According to both Glover and Reyes, neither of them have done a project this large before, other than club banners for various events on campus and working on homecoming floats, which Glover designed for Phi Omega Nu this year.
“The largest art project I did was maybe four by two feet, besides the homecoming float,” Glover said. “[The art project] took a bit longer than two weeks because I typically work in glass [mosaic] and it typically takes longer to do things like that. We might be on a bit of a time crunch, but I truthfully believe that no matter what design we end up going with [if selected], we will be done in the time they want it.”
Reyes and Glover both said they feel a slight disadvantage when thinking about the possibility of competing against art majors and professors. Glover said art is just a hobby and not at all related to her major, while Reyes said he is more design focused, not necessarily art focused.
“We are not going for a Van Gogh-style painting across the entire board,” Reyes said. “We want it to be simple, clean and easy to understand but also something where we can look at it in a year when the caf opens and be like, ‘Yeah, that was done by us.’”