Social Science Department plans new mural

Lane graphic design student Nick Siegrist works on his mural design, which was chosen for display on the fourth-floor walls of the Center Building as a part of the remodel.Photo: Eugene Johnson

Lane graphic design student Nick Siegrist works on his mural design, which was chosen for display on the fourth-floor walls of the Center Building as a part of the remodel.
Photo: Eugene Johnson

After two and a half years, Lane students in Designing Arts for Public Places are in the final stage of design for a new mural for Social Science Department on the fourth floor of the Center Building.

“We feel that the social science department was not truly represented by the art currently in (the) social science building. So we came up with a couple ideas to identify ourselves, and redoing the murals in the building was one of them,” said Jane Benjamin, one of four members of the project committee.

Lane studio arts faculty Thomas Madison is in charge of the project. At the meeting, he presented to the social science committee four palettes with four different themes to describe the variation of the “most diverse department in the campus.”

Nick Siegrist, the mural’s primary designer, said he was inspired by the Eugene elaboration on nature when he created the palettes. He is now doing an internship with Madison on this project.

“Every student in my class came up with his/her design, then we showed (them) to the committee, and after all (that) we narrowed down to Nick’s,” Madison said.

Student designer and photographer Nicole Rund contributed one of her photographs of a Eugene protest in a design. The image is presented as a negative to create an ambiguous view of people looking forward toward social changes, Madison said.

“It is also nice to have a picture that tells a story of local people right here in Eugene on the mural,” Madison said. “It will add more layers of meaning to the painting.”

The four color palettes raised controversial opinions among members of the committee.

Benjamin preferred a design that includes a human element with a hint of abstraction, while committee member Micah Cordova chose the colder tone palette because it reminded him of the Pacific Northwest.

Interim Dean of Social Science Phil Martinez suggested postponing the decision on the final design until the committee could collect feedback from every division in the social science department.

Madison said the mural will also feature quotes from some key figures involved in social change.

“Our team has been researching each area and coming up with short quotes that are fairly ambiguous but may bring thoughtful statements,” Madison said. “(We also have a) long way to go with quotes, but we definitely will be done this term.”

Madison and Siegrist also came up with a budget proposal of $1,000 for the whole project. Almost half of the budget will be spent on paint, purchased from Eugene store Tommy’s Paint Pot.

Tommy’s Paint Pot was the donor for primer and paint for Lane’s mural on the side of Building 5. Madison turned down their offer to donate this time, because he thinks it is necessary to keep local business going.

“The budget really makes the project realistic,” Cordova said.

Students in Madison’s summer class will complete the project.

“After finishing the mural, we also plan to get (started) with another project,” Benjamin said. “We would like to have important and meaningful people in the social science field being framed or photographed and hang their pictures around the building.”