This year for Winter Capstone 2023, we had nineteen students and five new murals; there was the opportunity to participate via distance as well as on ground in unique and ingenious ways. Students were asked to consider how they would like to participate and ways in which they would like to integrate the ideas of our distance students and how these could be translated into the on ground mural process. Some amazing problem-solving occurred and truly stunning results. I give full credit to the students and their initiative throughout this process.
As the remote instructor for this course, I enlisted Seren Morris, field training clinical supervisor, to be there as an Edith Kramer “Third Hand” and Micaela Woods, our new art therapy full time faculty member, to help Tess Barbeau, our graduate assistant with obtaining supplies.
Mural 1: Bethany, TJ, Flora, and Chelstina
“Many symbols contained natural elements including nests, eggs, birds: a recurring
theme of re-parenting and unlearning, mushrooms, various animals including a fox:
gatherers of knowledge and playfulness, snakes: acknowledging fear,
transformation/change, and spider. Also, the elements of water and fire: acknowledged
fear, transformation/change. An overlapping theme is transformation and journey: the
magician, labyrinths, the fool, connecting to healing/nurturing inner child.
Portal made from paper, fire as transformation that reveals a secret world/ place/ animal kindreds.”
Mural 2: Emma, Lucia, Gal, and Sarah
Lucia and Sarah sent their art to be included and adhered to the wall; in the center of this mural, there is a stained glass compass component. In addition, there will be a beautiful mixed metal framework placed around the black diamond (waiting on the right adhesive solution!)
“My groupmates agreed that the compass symbol speaks to that internal
guidance within each of us. The compass at the center of the mural also acts as a north star
guiding the way. Around the stars is a rainbow ouroboros/snake eating its own tail that is an
hourglass. The ouroboros represents cycles which reflects our journey at Southwestern coming toan end as we set off into the field. A snake is also a creature that sheds its skin, just as we have all grown and changed through this experience. Its rainbow scales illustrate the full spectrum of these experiences. The hourglass shows the passage of time as well as the infinite quality of endless cycles within life. The metal border pieces, through their ephemeral quality and potential for oxidization, represents the alchemy of turning personal pain into healing for others through this line of work. Metal is a material that is often used for structures meant to pay homage, we incorporated it to honor our time at the college. The moon cycles created on the frame is another symbol of change like the snake. The Elements (earth, air, fire, water) within the four corners of the mural show balance, presence, holding, and wholeness. This represents the energy we each draw from and the various strengths and qualities each one of us offers. “
Mural 3: Sheyenne, Mel, and Tianna
“Our group is attracted to sacred geometry, particularly the Vesica Piscis, a circle
within two circles representing union of opposites as well as the cosmic eye. We
discussed the eye being in middle of the mural, and realistically depicted. We thought about surrounding the geometrical piece with individual mark making or line gesturing. We talked about the golden thread
(which guides an individual to their truth), and how we can symbolize it through
rope or chain around the edge of the mural.”
Mural 4: Megan, Lexi, Laura, and Kristen
Some of the symbols are:
Laura: crow, rainbow bird, dragon with fire (rebirth, shadow & light, parts work, supernatural magic)
Lexi: deer, amethyst (wisdom, observation)
Kristen: mountains, snake, moon (cycles, shedding, and grounding)
Megan: water/ river, healing and cleansing with natural objects and elements
Mural 5: Erica, Irene, Jessily, and Kaitlin
There were 2 distance students in this group; stencils were sent in and their visions were implemented by Kaitlin and Irene. Erica sent the stork and Jessily sent the lotus flower and the butterfly. Erica chose the stork which signifies faithfulness, grade, devotion, open-mindedness, aspiration, immortality, and transformation.
The butterfly symbolizes transformation and creativity, expanding awareness and change while the lotus flower represents a spiritual awakening taking place through the graduate school experience. Irene created the white snake which represents change and transformation/ rebirth and healing properties. Kaitlin chose the wolf to represent family, community, spirit, nurturance, and strength.