A new mural on the third floor of Fretwell is the latest project by students in the mixed-media studio taught by painting professor Maja Godlewska and printmaking professor Erik Waterkotte. Installed this month outside of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, “Intercoalescence” was commissioned by Beth Whitaker, interim associate dean and executive director of Interdisciplinary Studies, and designed and created by students in the Fall 2023 class.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to meet early in the semester with students in Erik and Maja's class,” said Whitaker. "We had a lively discussion about what it means to do interdisciplinary work and how bringing people together with different areas of expertise can lead to creative collisions and groundbreaking innovations.”
The class studied Henri Matisse’s paper cut-outs as inspiration for the mural. They then created a collage of cut paper and acrylic marker drawings, which was photographed and enlarged to twice the size to create a wall wrap that is flat, said Waterkotte, but appears three dimensional.
“The cut-out colored paper process provided a unique visual language that the class could share and collaborate on. The cut-outs also provided distinct forms, layers, and shadows that could translate well when photographed and enlarged.”
Whitaker said that “Intercoalescence” serves as a compelling metaphor for the academic programs and research of Interdisciplinary Studies.
“With its combination of colors and elements in different layers, the mural that the students subsequently created does a great job representing the energy, imagination, and even tension that can characterize interdisciplinary collaboration."
Godlewska and Waterkotte have taught the mixed-media class since Fall 2016, and the work of their students can be seen across campus, from Atkins Library to the Colvard breezeway. Waterkotte says the Fretwell mural won’t be their last.
“We actually have a bit of a waiting list.”
“Intercoalescence” was designed and created by students in the Fall 2023 Mixed-Media class in the Department of Art & Art History: Callie Barber, Rachel Barger, Nicole Beltrami, Hirmani Brown, Heather Chan, Hypnos Chhabra, Ellen Doss, Lysa Fakir, Caden Glende, Hannah Grubb, Kelly McNeely, Samaria Pickenpack, Skyler Vink, and Caroline Wingerd.