The old Science Building may be a few years away from a long awaited renovation, but the entryway has a fresh makeover thanks to students a creative group of EWU students – and instructors. A spectacular four-walled now greets visitors.

Themed “The Enduring Beam of Science,” the artwork depicts all major areas of study represented in the building.

The idea came after Nigel Davies in Geology expressed interested in having a mural to sort of liven up the temporary entrance to the building. So he reached out to the Art Department and the creative juices started flowing.

Photo by Nigel Davies

Art instructor Lena Lopez Schindler thought it would be a great experiential course for her students, and the two departments collaborated to find the materials and do the research for the project. In all, 12 students from Art, Visual Communications and Design, and Biochemistry spent several courses hearing about research projects and natural local resources from a variety of science faculty. The students also learned about the planned Prairie Restoration project on the west end of campus. And a walk down the Science Building hallways provided a different sort of education.

“It became apparent to the class the overwhelming amount of visual information that was in the Science Building,” said Lopez Schindler. “From the research posters lining the hallways, to display cases full of geology samples, stuffed birds, reptiles and animals, to lecture announcements covering recent scientific discoveries! We needed to find a theme or concept that would visually make sense of all the information presented to us.”

Photo by Nigel Davies

It was no small task to include all this rich subject matter, but the talented young artists put their minds together and went to work. They formed groups and compiled sketches for the public to vote on.  They also presented their ideas in a formal manner to an audience of faculty, administrators and facility operators. Once the idea was solidified, the art students began the actual painting of the mural. 

Lopez Schindler says the class was structured as a sort of seminar on how professional artists work in the real world, with lots of moving parts, critiques and working during “off” hours to avoid high traffic times during the school day.

“For a collaboration to come to fruition every part of the project from design to painting is rigorously discussed and worked over as a group, individuals working as a team, much like a symphony playing a piece of music.”

And like a symphony, this ensemble of amazingly talented students produced an amazing finished product, which you can see by visiting the west entry to the Science Building closest to the mall.

EWU Students involved in the project include: Karina Arreola-Gutierrez, Jayda Ball, Madrona Beitz, Ashely Boylan, Gracie Brennan, Jackie Englehardt, Robert Englehardt, Steven Grime, Madeline Hanson, Mario Mendez, Juno Oh, Erika Symonenko

Photo by Nigel Davies