The Diversity Mural Project: A Partnership between the University and the Community

By Christina Chin-Newman, Sylvia Min and Karon Fleming.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The goals of the Diversity Mural Project were to beautify the community with a piece of public art through a partnership between California State University, East Bay and the City of Hayward, to provide local teens with the opportunity to work in a diverse group to design and paint a mural that represents diversity, and to further research on the benefits of participating in artistic activities for youth. Karon Fleming, a University student and community artist, came up with the idea for the project; University faculty members Christina Chin-Newman (Dept. of Human Development and Women’s Studies) and Sylvia Min (Dept. of Art) then applied together successfully for a faculty support grant from CSU East Bay. The City of Hayward found the mural site at the building of Community Resources for Independent Living (CRIL), an organization which serves individuals with disabilities. Nine high school students, from three local high schools, were selected to participate in the Diversity Mural Project. They learned about design and art history from Min, and the history of the Hayward area from faculty member Robert Phelps (Dept. of History), before generating several possible mural designs. The final design, approved by CRIL and the City of Hayward, was a giant eye with a globe as the iris, and people holding up the globe. All high school participants were instructed in mural painting techniques by Fleming, and supervised in the painting of the mural by Fleming and Min, who were assisted by two teaching assistants (University students majoring in art). Min created a book documenting the collaborative process of designing and painting the mural. Some of Chin-Newman’s research findings were that participants enjoyed meeting people different from themselves, and the experience of working together as a team.

Keywords: Mural, Community Art, Adolescence

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.105-116. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.056MB).

Dr. Christina Chin-Newman

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development and Women's Studies, California State University, East Bay, East Bay, CA, USA

Christina Chin-Newman, Ph. D., is Assistant Professor of Human Development at California State University, East Bay. Her research specialty is arts participation and youth development. She is a Research Associate of the Talented Student Research Project, a longitudinal study of teenagers talented in the arts.

Sylvia Min

Lecturer, Art Dept., California State University, East Bay, East Bay, CA, USA

Sylvia Min, M.F.A., is an artist, designer, and educator. She teaches university and college courses in art, design, and digital media in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Karon Fleming

Student, Human Development Dept., California State University, East Bay, East Bay, CA, USA

Karon Fleming has over 30 years of experience as a community and commercial artist, having painted murals, seasonal windows and signs, and utility boxes. She is an exhibiting artist who works in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Ms. Fleming has also painted scenery for theater productions, and written plays and designed puppets for her own theater company. She has enjoyed teaching art to youth, including those with disabilities.

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