On their way to process covid-19 tests, masked and gowned staffers of UTA’s North Texas Genome Center walk past a unique piece of art. A large, colorful mural capturing our unusual moment in history went up late last year, created by faculty and students from the Art and Art History Department.
“This mural gives students ownership of their time here at UT Arlington,” says Assistant Professor Yana Payusova. “It was important to come together, as seven artists who have particular styles, and to finish it unified while leaving room for each person to have his or her own individual style be present.”
In addition to Payusova, Assistant Professor Carlos Daniel Donjuan, graduate student Hallee Turner, and undergraduate students Leonor Ali, Tiara Francois, Cesar Garay, and Maya Sultana worked on the project.
The Inspiration: The mural came from a suggestion by the medical director of the North Texas Genome Center, Florence Haseltine, a passionate supporter of the arts. “White walls are meant to put art on,” she says. “It makes the place human.”
The Experience: The mural is designed to make viewers feel as if they were attending a solo show for each artist as they walk down the corridor.
The Portraits: The mural depicts colorful, 10-foot-tall head-and-shoulder portraits of individuals wearing masks.
The Style: While the mural feels like a single, integrated piece, no two faces are the same and each uses a different artistic style.
The Place: The mural is located in the basement of the Science & Engineering Innovation & Research building, outside the North Texas Genome Center.
Up Next: A second stage is scheduled for the spring semester in conjunction with the mural painting class. Stage one was completed over two months in late 2020.