Students design the new eye-catching mural celebrating VU communications hub

Students design the new eye-catching mural celebrating VU communications hub

Vincennes University Logo

December 20, 2021

December 20, 2021

VINCENNES, Ind. – Vincennes University Graphic Design majors have a 23 feet wide by 41 feet tall "memento" of their time as college students emblazoned on the exterior Davis Hall for all to see as they are passing by on Second Street.

The new Davis Hall mural was created and designed by VU students in collaboration with faculty, staff, and alumni. It is a kaleidoscope of color and bold images that capture the spirit of the University’s television station, WVUT-Vincennes PBS; radio stations, Blazer WVUB 91.1 and WFML The Bridge 96.7; and The Trailblazer newspaper.

Their visual story will live on for many years to come. 

"The feeling that so many will see my work is exciting and overwhelming," VU Graphic Design student Melissa Potts said. "This is a huge accomplishment, and I take pride in our work."

The mural highlights all the different areas of study that Davis Hall is home to including, broadcastingradiojournalism, and photojournalism. It is also part of a re-branding effort by Vincennes PBS. The new art replaces a previous mural that depicted the Vincennes PBS studio before its recent facelift.

"Davis Hall has seen several changes since the last mural was installed," Director of Broadcast Operations Nichole Carie said. "We have since added the Journalism program to the third floor, and that really completes our building as a communication hub. We really wanted this mural to represent all of our wonderful media outlets which operate inside this building and serve our students across many academic areas. We were more than thrilled to work with the graphic design students to help our vision come to life."

Graphic Design major Zavior Jolly drew inspiration for the new mural from the graffiti/pop-art style he grew up around in Brooklyn, New York.

"I created a giant pop art piece with bright, vibrant colors to expand the possibilities of the mural and give it a new light,” he said.

Potts added, "The design needed to be cohesive, interesting, and most importantly represent VU. There are wonderful students and faculty members in the programs at Davis Hall, so I wanted my concept to be fun and upbeat just like them!"

Designing a mural for a University building is one of the countless innovative hands-on, real-world learning experiences VU offers its students.

"We have been given so many incredible opportunities at VU, including working on this project," Potts said. “This project has helped me gain the confidence I needed to help me step out of my comfort zone and help me succeed as a photographer. The project has challenged me to think in new ways, taught me to research the subject, and time management skills. All things that will help me in my new career."

Potts, a mother of two, is following her passion for photography. She currently works as a nurse and is a full-time student from Montgomery, Indiana. She plans to graduate in 2022 with an associate degree in Graphic Design and a concentration in Photography. Potts plans to open a photography business.

A team of VU students, faculty, staff, and alumni collaborated to create and design the eye-catching mural

The mission of VU’s Art and Design Department programs is to provide students with a strong foundation through creative exploration in traditional and contemporary visual media. Art and Design majors develop creativity, critical thinking, presentation skills, and a portfolio of work that serves as a foundation for later professional practice.

Art and Design Program Chair Ron Wise says the project epitomizes how the Graphic Design Occupational program works.

"Students get the training they need in the two years in the program, and then they are ready to go work in the graphic design field," he said. "Real-world projects like this one are critical to this training."

This is one of many projects developed by students for actual clients during the academic year, according to Wise. They’ve designed posters for the College of Humanities Recruitment Committee and have worked on greeting card designs for VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson and the VU Foundation.

"These projects provide great learning opportunities to better prepare students for the professional world," Wise said. "The Davis Hall mural project provided students more experience in working with Photoshop and preparing graphics for a large scale. I am very proud of Ali Houpey and all of my current students for the excellent work that they have been doing on the project."

Houpey earned an associate degree in Graphic Design Occupational from VU in 2021. She credits VU and the Graphic Design program for equipping her with the tools she needed to get a graphic design position immediately after graduation.

"As a Vincennes native and VU alum, I feel very honored to have worked on this project and to have it displayed in such a prominent location," she said. "This mural was made more special with all the VU students, faculty members, and alumni who collaborated on this project. It just goes to show you the great community that Vincennes University has."

VU offers associate degrees in Art, Graphic Design, Art Education, Pre-Art Therapy, and Photography through the College of Humanities. Explore the nationally-accredited programs at https://www.vinu.edu/web/college-of-humanities/art-and-design.

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