Art students beautifying bare ASUA Bookstore wall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Nine students are painting a mural on the east wall of the UA Associated Students Bookstore. The mural should be completed by the end of the spring semester.
The mural covering the curved wall in front of the UA Bookstore will display more than college students' budding artistic talent.
The 69-foot-painting under development by nine members of a University of Arizona art class will be splattered with the AT&T logo.
And the corporate sponsor has asked for certain concessions from the class.
"We have to incorporate the company logo into the mural," said Alfred Quiroz, who teaches the advanced painting class. "The image (AT&T logo) will be in every other letter."
B.J. Tietjen, the bookstore's computer room manager, said AT&T cell phones are sold in the bookstore and the company contributes generously to the university.
"I think it's great that they are our sponsors," said Janine Manemann, an art education senior who is working on the mural. "They are giving us the chance get our work displayed on a big scale."
The mural will cover the 7-foot-wide wall, and is designed to attract the attention of Memorial Student Union visitors.
"I think it's a unique chance for students to see what the whole process of art is like," Quiroz said. "It's a good way for students to explore the role of public art."
The mural, which will be completed by the end of the semester, will have the word "knowledge" displayed within the work, he said.
"We felt it would be appropriate for 'knowledge' to be our theme in a university mural," Quiroz said.
The class started brainstorming for themes and then painted a rough draft on paper, he said. The mural design had to be approved by the UA Sign Committee before it could be transferred to the wall.
Tietjen said the building's vacant outside space provided the perfect spot for a student-designed art project. Bookstore officials contacted Quiroz about the project last summer.
"We approached the UA art department versus a professional team because the bookstore likes working with campus departments and organizations," said Tietjen, who came up with the idea for the project. "We wanted to benefit from the great talent we have on campus with our art department and have the art students contribute to a project that will enhance campus life."
Aside from some off-color comments the first day, passers-by generally have nice things to say, Quiroz said.
"So far the student reaction seems positive," Manemann said. "I've heard nothing but positive reactions."
But Tietjen said the project has sparked disapproval from some UA students.
"(The mural) is sparking a lot of controversy among students," she said. "Some love it, some hate it, but that's art."
Students will be working on the project every Monday and Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Quiroz invites interested students to lend a hand.
"A lot of people have come by asking if they could help in some way," he said. "We can always use the extra help."
Quiroz said artists are also competing for mural space on walls at the UA Main Library and McKale Center.
"We have students painting murals at the UA bookstore, at Christopher City (the UA's graduate student housing facility) and students who choose to work independently in a studio," Quiroz said.