Visiting artist at BHSU to spur new downtown mural

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, March 12, 2018/Categories: Events, Students, Academic Affairs, College of Liberal Arts, Community, Events, Faculty, 2018

Mural artist Paul LaJeunesse will visit Black Hills State University March 12-14 to train students and faculty in his socially-engaged mural process. BHSU will then work with the community for a large public mural adjacent to the green space in front of old City Hall.

Desy Schoenewies, assistant professor of art at BHSU, said LaJeunesse has developed a mural system that allows community members to take part in the mural development.
“We chose Paul as our visiting artist because of his background in commissioned community mural projects. In his system, individuals who normally would not have the physical ability to paint a mural would have sections of the mural brought to them. This includes school children and individuals in nursing homes, for example,” said Schoenewies.
While on campus, LaJeunesse will demo his mural techniques for students during several art classes. He will also present a lecture. All events listed below are open to the public.

Monday, March 12

  • 2-3:30 p.m. Mural Demo in Painting Techniques course, Woodburn Hall Room 305 & 400

Tuesday, March 13

  • 9:30-10:45 a.m. Lecture in Recent Developments course, Woodburn Hall Room 305

  • 12:30-2:30 p.m. Mural Demo in Drawing II Class, Woodburn Hall Room 305 & 400

  • 4-5:30 p.m. Public Lecture in Club Buzz, Basement of the Student Union

Wednesday, March 14

  • 2-3:30 p.m. Mural completion with Painting Techniques course, Woodburn Hall Room 305 & 400

Schoenewies said BHSU often has visiting artists through the Ruddell Gallery and the Canon Explorer of Light visiting photographer series. But this visit will be the first time where an artist will be at BHSU to create a work of art from start to finish. 

“While Paul is at BHSU, we will be creating an 8’ x 16’ mural which will go into the Wenona Cook Art Studios on campus,” said Schoenewies.

LaJeunesse’s mural demonstration this month will lay the foundation for BHSU to develop the larger mural for downtown Spearfish, scheduled to be completed in 2019. The downtown mural will be designed and developed in conjunction with the Arts & Education Conference hosted by the BHSU Fine Arts Department Oct. 5-6. Conference presenters will share their ideas for socially-engaged arts activities to reflect the theme “Building Community through the Arts.” The conference is held in conjunction with the South Dakota College Arts Association and the South Dakota Art Education Association.
In LaJeunesse’s method, community members are engaged in creating a truly collaborative mural using transportable, light-weight materials that can travel to residents with limited accessibility. His process involves a wide audience in a meaningful collaboration on designing, painting, and installing a mural.
“Paul is a dynamic artist. His visit will equip us with professional mural design and give the BHSU community the knowledge and confidence to aid in the creation of a large public mural for the City of Spearfish,” said Schoenewies. “We hope that the entire city could be involved in the design and creation of a beautiful new mural under Paul’s expertise.”
The College of Liberal Arts at BHSU prepares students for public school teaching, graduate school, law school, and many occupations. The College offers numerous extracurricular opportunities that encourage intellectual growth and a sense of community including: faculty-mentored research projects in humanities, history, social sciences, or math; band, choir, orchestra, and other ensembles; theater; writing contests and the Black Hills Research Symposium; exchange programs in Spain or Mexico; and firsthand experience in the TV studio, radio station, and state-of-the-art photography darkrooms, and on the award-winning campus newspaper.

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