If you’ve been on the Bellevue College campus lately, you might have noticed some new artwork on the walls. Bellevue College’s Outdoor Mural Committee held submissions for a new mural project on BC campus from Dec. 15 to March 4, 2021. These submissions were open to all Bellevue College community members “including students, alumni, staff, faculty and emeritus.” This week, the selected murals were put up all around the exteriors of buildings. They are wheat paste murals, which are non-permanent murals pasted with glue onto the committee’s chosen sites.
Under the theme of “diversity, equity and social justice,” Marla Mason, Seraphim Hong, Amelia Ossorio, Arlene Carranza, Jenn Pang, Dubois Mutombo Biosha, Fernando Perez, Jenna Morrison, Naziha Nafen Bagh and Yali Hajhassan all created mural pieces which were chosen by the committee. Their pieces vary in styles and techniques. With the mural project, while the final product for submission needed to be in a digital two-dimensional format, the media option was open to digital images, paintings, drawings, sketches, photos of 3D sculptures, collages and word art. It also could be black and white or vibrant in colors. For the artists, along with the fun and glory of creating a mural for the campus, each artist or group was paid $2,000 for their efforts and work.
Jenn Pang, the Director of Science Outreach here at BC, submitted a mural titled “The Storyteller,” despite never doing projects similar to this mural project. She explained that she “was doing these fun, intricate flower collages and thought it might be a nice metaphor for the stories that we carry within ourselves, stories that may be unexpected to those who don’t know us personally.” Not only did the artists need to submit a mural, but they also needed to include an artist statement about the piece. In Pang’s, she describes how flowers and our stories relate to one another, prompting the question: “Which ones are we cultivating, telling ourselves about who we want to be?”
As for future plans, there will be more opportunities to submit murals. Kite Arner, a member of the committee, explained how the “vision for this project is for an ongoing rotation of murals, with new Calls for Art coming out in the future. The details of this future aren’t yet settled, as we finalize the installation of this first round, [they imagine their] committee will debrief, and plan next steps over the remainder of this year.” BC is a very welcoming community, encouraging people of any ethnicity, ability, religion, age, nationality, gender or sexual orientation to engage in the campus life. This mural project not only fits the theme of diversity, equity and social justice, but visually demonstrates BC’s values of uplifting and affirming its broad community.