The Franklin College Art Department welcomed artist Tiffany Black to campus to teach “Public and Community Art: Mural Creation” during Immersive Term this January. The class has taken 23 students, step-by-step, through the stages of how to create a community mural.
The students’ dedicated work will also include a public component in which community members, alumni and fellow students will be invited to help complete the paint-by-number mural. This event will take place from 3-7 p.m. on Friday, January 12, inside Théâtre Margot in the Johnson Center for Fine Arts, located at the corner of Branigin Blvd., and Grizzly Drive.
The “Spirit of Community” mural will consist of four panels, each depicting a different aspect of Franklin College history: Tradition, Athletics, Innovation and Diversity. The design also weaves in the present and hints at the students’ imagined futures.
The heart of this Immersive Term course lies in creating a mural that pays homage to Franklin College’s history. Black and the student artists worked with several departments and groups on campus to prepare the mural. Through engaging, hands-on activities, the art students learned about Franklin College’s history by delving into the undergraduate research previously prepared by Franklin College history students, which was conducted with the support of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Humanities for the Public Good initiative and the Community-Engaged Alliance (CEA) Faculty Fellows Grant.
“Throughout the project, Black has provided valuable insights and mentorship to the students as they have worked collectively to create something beautiful, engaging and enduring that connects the past with the present, leaving a lasting legacy not only for Franklin College students, but for future generations of community members,” said Randi Frye, assistant professor of art and chair of the art department.
This spring semester, additional art students will build upon the mural project. Frye will guide them as they begin to incorporate augmented reality components into the mural.
Black is an award-winning artist based in Indianapolis, specializing in collaborative and community-based projects. She has been creating murals and other large-scale public works since 2003, and was one of 24 Indianapolis artists selected for the NBA All-Star 2024’s “Hoosier Historia” arts program. Black earned her masters of fine arts in community art from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2013, and is now adjunct professor of art at Ivy Tech Community College and Arkansas Tech University. She is a founding member of TLC Art Collective, a group of artists concerned with environmental and social justice.
In 2021, Black began working with evacuees from Afghanistan at Camp Atterbury, shortly after they were forced to flee their home country. She provided arts programming as Afghans awaited resettlement, and together, they created a painted 20’x8’ mural titled August 15, in reference to the day the Taliban took control of Kabul. August 15 tells the story of how so many lives were forever changed that day. This mural has embarked on a traveling exhibition throughout North America; its next stop will be at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fall Creek campus in March 2024.
To learn more about Black, visit www.tblack.co/about.
Black is the sixth visiting artist to visit Franklin College’s campus during Immersive Term, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Allen W. Clowes Foundation to establish the Clowes Visiting Artist Endowment Fund. The visiting artist program is a biennial program. Past artists to visit Franklin College include: Chris Sickels, a 3-D illustrator and stop-motion animator in 2022; Kimberly McNeelan, a woodworking expert in 2020; Stephen Cefalo, an American artist in 2018; Sayaka Ganz, a Japanese sculptor in 2016; and Artur Silva, a Brazil native in 2014.
Contact the Franklin College Office of Communications for more information at (317) 738-8185.
POSTED Jan 10, 2024