Frank expressed her pride and gratitude for the “exceptional vision, persistence and energy of Cynthia and Wade to launch a new course that has produced a lasting impact on the university. This mural signifies what it means to be ‘Made at Stout’ and sets our educational experience apart from others.
"We teach students how to move from ideation to production and enact the collaboration among stakeholders – in this case, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members – that leads to meaningful contributions to the larger community.”
Frank added that the mural opens up the possibility for additional collaborations and praised the Campus Art Committee, chaired by Bland, for considering ways to support equity, diversity and inclusion efforts through future projects, aligning with UW-Stout’s FOCUS 2030 goals.
“You should be proud of your work and the lasting impact it will have on campus,” she said to the student artists.
Knaack added that he believes “UW-Stout makes Menomonie a super cool city,” as he expressed his thankfulness for the university and the city’s cohesive relationship.
He asked, “What would Menomonie be without Stout? And what would Stout be without Menomonie? This is the kick off of more to come.”
First student-designed mural
Although it is not the first mural in the UW System, the Graffiti and Street Art mural, 40 feet long and 10 feet high, is the first student-designed mural to grace the walls of a UW System campus.
Designed by four School of Art and Design students during the spring semester, it took students in the course three weeks to prepare and paint the wall, using more than $800 worth of materials, including primer, base coat, paint and brushes.
Lubahn has been working with Lambrigtsen for two years at Vintage Sign Shop. They’ve painted several murals and signs together around Menomonie and the surrounding area.
“It has been extremely rewarding to be a part of the campus mural experience,” she said.
“The Graffiti and Street Art class was a change of pace from what I am used to at the shop. I hope this opportunity opens the door for more students to be involved in the arts and to integrate art in the community.”
Marconnet was among the group of four SOAD student designers. When they originally created the mural characters on the computer, the characters were smaller than their hand on the screen.
“Now many of them are taller than me. It’s pleasing to see and to explore the mural,” Marconnet said. “Applied Arts is such a concrete building. We were able to express the creativity happening on the inside.”
As an applied social science major, Mancl is studying sociology and the humanities. The class has brought him a better understanding of art history.
“Art is extremely important when looking back and viewing humanity through time. It is vital to understanding societies,” he said.
“Art is proof of history – like watching a black and white TV show before color film to know how technology changed. Art proves history happened.”
Mancl had not picked up a paint brush since the seventh grade, remembering that his teacher then was not very happy with his painting, he joked.
“This course has given me the knowledge to be comfortable and confident in the painting process and has given me an understanding of the professional process of mural painting,” he said. “Cynthia and Wade are helping to drive back the stigma that you can’t make a living doing art.
“Approve this class again. Keep it going,” Mancl encouraged the university.
And Bland reminded visitors “to find the little Blue Devil” hidden in the mural. Follow on Instagram at #stoutsoadmural, and view a timelapse video on UW-Stout’s Facebook.