The OBU Division of Art and Design completed a painted mural June 24 on the OBU campus in Shawnee. The mural was installed on the north exterior wall of the Art Annex building, located at the corner of Kickapoo Avenue and Midland Street. The mural features depictions of numerous recognizable OBU icons, including Raley Chapel, Shawnee Hall, a Bison, and an OBU logo.
Corey Fuller, chair of Art and Design, Ruth Jay Odom Professor of Fine Arts, and professor of graphic design, led the project. The original artwork was created by OBU alumna Vanessa Myers. The crew included Fuller along with alumni Evie Griffin, Caleb Corff, Brock Currie, and Alyssa Briggs, as well as current students Kourtney Lester and Justus Miller. Bryan Alexis, an artist from Fort Smith, Arkansas, contributed his wisdom and experience to the project, having painted more than 30 murals. A similar mural was painted by the OBU Art Club earlier this year at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center for the OBU Prison Divinity Program.
Fuller said the idea to place a mural on the wall came from OBU administration, including OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas and Dr. Susan DeWoody, former OBU provost. The project then became a group effort, with contributions made by employees, students, alumni, community members and more.
“We wanted the artwork to come from an OBU student or alum, so that’s why we asked Vanessa Myers,” Fuller said. “I believe she did the drawing right after she graduated in 2021. She created three different concept sketches for the wall, and there were things we liked about all three. We chose one design but added in a few things and made modifications along the way.”
Fuller noted that a similar mural was created earlier this year in a classroom at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, home of OBU’s Prison Divinity Program. That mural was created by Evie Griffin and the OBU Art Club.
While the on-campus mural is new, Fuller has already received a great response with encouraging words from many members of the campus community as well members of the greater Shawnee area.
“It has received a very positive reaction from the community thus far,” he said.
The Division of Art and Design is grateful to the OBU administration for their support, for funding the project, and for seeing the value in public art. Fuller also expressed gratitude for President Thomas, who brought Sonic drinks to the crew to cool them off while they worked in the heat. He likewise expressed appreciation for Rachel Witt and Taylor Means for both delivering ice cream to the crew, courtesy of Legacy Bank, and for also helping paint the mural.Learn more about the Division of Art and Design.