In the basement of the Modern Languages Building, a site frequented by students and teachers alike, is a recently painted mural consisting of geometric blue triangles arranged in a seemingly abstract, yet purposeful way. What remains unbeknownst to many, however, is that it was done by Live in Color, a new club at the University.
As part of an effort to bring more bright colors to campus and beautify the drab building, Live in Color was an idea conceived by LSA sophomores Zoe Duncan-Doroff and Julian Hansen.
“Julian was discussing how MLB halls are so dry and desolate … wouldn’t it be great if we went in and painted it after hours?” Duncan-Doroff said.
The pair joked that breaking into the building after hours to do the mural would be a great way to get suspended, so they went to the University to get the funding necessary to bring their artistic visions to life.
By creating colorful, geometric murals that improve the the overall environment rather than portraying a message, the club hopes to bring an atmosphere of happiness to university buildings that are oftentimes associated with negative sentiments and stress. As stated in their mission statement: “There is much evidence implying that color can boost happiness, morale and mood while decreasing depression. Our mission is to strive for these changes through art.”
Duncan-Doroff and Hansen face challenges in regards to finding available walls to paint, but are constantly keeping their ears to the ground as they wait for new opportunities. Currently, their first mural in the Modern Languages Building is the only completed work. However, the club recently received approval from the facilities manager of the building to do another one in the German/Slavic languages department in the Modern Languages Building. The pair also has their eye on the brand new Weiser building.
“We have a small design team of student artists and a lot of interested members. We’re not holding regular meetings yet since it relies on how many locations we have. We have to split up the members into many different teams,” Hansen said.
As the club continues to generate interest and gain credibility through their exciting project plans, Duncan-Doroff and Hansen plan to increase numbers by adding more designers and painters. Hansen elaborates on the expansion plans by noting that they hope to have their first big recruiting push during Winterfest, which would then be followed by regular meetings.
What makes Live in Color so special is that they aim to attract all University students with an interest in painting and campus beautification, rather than just dedicated artists with years of experience. “One of the pillars at Live in Color is that anybody can paint [the murals],” Duncan-Doroff said.
With winter upon us and the temperatures dropping, the absence of sun and color from campus will soon be much more apparent. The pops of bright colors and designs created by Live in Color in university buildings will be a welcomed sight, hopefully boosting moods as people face the inherent stress that comes with being a student.