A new mural, created through a collaborative effort between the School of Journalism and the Department of Art + Design, was recently completed in Northeastern University’s Holmes Hall. The work of art was completed by a group of Northeastern student artists, under the guidance of Sophia Ainslie, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Art + Design. This mural represents the type of creative, interdisciplinary projects that are at the heart of CAMD.
This video, created by two students in a course entitled Video News Reporting and Producing taught by Mike Beaudet, Professor of the Practice in the School of Journalism, includes a time lapse of the mural creation as well as some interviews with the student artists.
“This project started while I was helping Professor Ainslie paint a shipping container for Boston’s HubWeek,” explained now-alumna Emily Mui, who just graduated from Northeastern in May and was one of the students who worked on the mural. “The School of Journalism was interested in enlisting students to create a mural, and I thought that that sounded like an extremely exciting and challenging project. I had never painted a mural before, aside from the shipping container, but the idea of working with a ‘client’ to develop a design and then physically implement it seemed like an amazing experience.”
The vision behind the mural was to add some additional color and creativity to the School of Journalism’s space in Holmes Hall to accompany the new labs that were developed in the past few years. The goal was to create a cheerful, welcoming space for Journalism students.
“The School of Journalism is always looking for ways to build a sense of community within our school and CAMD as a whole. The mural gave us an opportunity to bring people together from Journalism and Art + Design to collaborate on a vision for making our space more intriguing and provocative,” explained Professor Beaudet. “We hope the mural starts conversations in Holmes Hall and beyond about the always evolving world of journalism at a time when news and information are critically important for our society.”
The student artists themselves also had a specific vision for the mural, hoping that it would ultimately tell a compelling story to those who pass it.
“We wanted the mural to represent the field of journalism, but more specifically, journalism in Boston and the expansion of the field across different media, including podcasts, film, and photography. For me, it was a really eye-opening opportunity to learn more about what ‘Journalism’ means,” said Emily.
The mural project in Holmes Hall was valuable and meaningful to everyone involved. It highlights Northeastern’s and CAMD’s emphasis on public art, and using art as a way to brighten the campus.
“Public art is so important; it’s the most democratic form of art, reaching such wide audiences on a daily basis,” said Professor Ainslie. “Art has the capacity to transform places, cities, and our lives by infusing life and identity into a space. This is the very reason Professor Beaudet reached out in the first place… to create a sense of identity for the School of Journalism.”
The mural’s impact will be long-lasting, on both the student artists who contributed, as well as the students returning to campus this fall.
“I think the students learned a lot from this one-year process about what it means to work with a client, coming up against obstacles and finding creative solutions without sacrificing integrity,” added Professor Ainslie. “I am so grateful that Professor Beaudet had this idea; I think CAMD could have more art, more murals in the building, creating more of a physical identity for the different departments. I’d love to continue working with students on this.”
“This project was especially important to me since it allowed me to leave a permanent mark at Northeastern during my last semester. If you had told me five years ago that I would end up designing and painting a mural on Northeastern’s campus, I would have never believed you,” Emily concluded. “This entire process took the entire academic year, numerous meetings, and countless approvals, but at the end of the day, it was all worth it. I learned so much about client work, mural design, and of course, painting! I can’t think of a better way to have wrapped up my time at Northeastern.”