On May 24, in partnership with the International Linguistics Center, the DIU Student Body Association unveiled the school’s first mural in the lobby of the ILC’s Mahler building.
The mural features rich imagery based on Psalm 121. A backdrop of mountains recalls the psalmist’s search for help, which he finds in God (v. 1–2); a dove in flight represents God’s guarding presence (v. 5); and a sunset sky proclaims that God keeps His people day and night (v. 6). At the center, a human figure striding joyfully through an open gate reminds viewers that God keeps them as they go out and come in, forever (v. 8). For a community of people who are continually going out and coming in, this psalm is keenly meaningful.
The mural has been in the works since last spring when the student body was invited to dedicate a gift at President Scott Berthiaume’s inauguration ceremony. DIU student, Sarah Choate (MA World Arts ’23), took charge of the commission, using what she has learned in her classes about fostering local arts. She and the mural artist, Abigail Craven, wanted to unite the entire DIU community around the project. So, they involved students at various points, from choosing a mural as the inauguration gift to refining design elements in Abigail’s early drafts. And just as all participated in creating the mural, all can enjoy it; it makes its home in a common space where students, staff, and faculty from every department can appreciate it.
Regarding her vision for the project, Sarah quotes Makoto Fujimura, who writes that beauty, while not a requirement for survival, “is still necessary for our flourishing” (Makoto, 2017). She hopes that, in bringing more beauty to campus, this mural will help the DIU community to truly flourish.
Interested in how local arts benefit communities? Learn more about our MA in World Arts!