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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Mural project to involve NW community in creative flow

IIvan Watkins, internationally recognized artist, shares art with communities around the world with his mural project. watkins will bring this project to NW Campus for a workshop March 26- April 6.  Photo courtesy Ivan Watkins
IIvan Watkins, internationally recognized artist, shares art with communities around the world with his mural project. watkins will bring this project to NW Campus for a workshop March 26- April 6. Photo courtesy Ivan Watkins

By Marthna Treviño/nw news editor

IIvan Watkins, internationally recognized artist, shares art with communities around the world with his mural project. watkins will bring this project to NW Campus for a workshop March 26- April 6.  Photo courtesy Ivan Watkins
IIvan Watkins, internationally recognized artist, shares art with communities around the world with his mural project. watkins will bring this project to NW Campus for a workshop March 26- April 6. Photo courtesy Ivan Watkins

An internationally famous artist will direct students, faculty and community members in the painting of the NW Campus Bodies in Motion Mural Project.

Ivan Watkins has painted dozens of community-based public artworks worldwide, from his native New Orleans to Chicago, California to Connecticut and Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Liverpool, England. His murals have addressed cultural, political and social issues through images of history, labor and multi-cultural symbolism such as crosses, charkas and mandalas.

Sam Mulberry, an organizer of one of Watkins’ Chicago projects wrote on hydepark.org, “Ivan Watkins had a special impact on me when he swept th e area in front of his mural … It rained the night after he painted, and his mural had lots of drips because of it, but it still looked amazing.”

The Bodies in Motion mural will feature four eight-foot tall sections totaling 100 feet in length. The sections may stand-alone or be combined for a single panoramic image. The two-week workshop will run March 26 – April 6, in the WFAB Lakeview Gallery.

The works will be derived from photos of NW Campus dance and physical education students and may range from abstract dance postures, athletic stances or everyday movements according to Watkins proposal.
“ Art and design students will gain an enhanced hands-on experience that will enable them to articulate their own design motifs, cultural symbols and individual or collective ideas while creating a public work of art for permanent display on campus,” according to the proposal.

Although the mural is an “art” project, the entire humanities division will participate. Mike Matthews, NW humanities divisional dean, plans for the music department to respond with improvisational music and the dance department with improvisational dance. 

The speech, drama and English departments will offer speeches, performances and written pieces in response to the work. Any instructor can offer historical and cultural perspectives to help shape the project, Matthews said.

Bruce Grinstead, ITV manager, will film the making of the mural and the responses of the involved disciplines, which will be combined into a documentary.

In addition, the project will provide an opportunity for community participation. Gallery Day in the Lakeview Gallery will be March 31. The date coincides with the Art Council of Fort Worth’s citywide Gallery

Night and will allow visitors to contribute to painting the mural. Extra brushes will be available for visitors to add their own touch to the work, Matthews said.

Upon completion, the work will move to its permanent location in the health education and dance building.

The artist holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the Art Institute of Chicago and a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago. He is currently working on his doctorate in urban studies at the University of New Orleans. Watkins and his family developed local ties when they sought refuge from Hurricane Katrina in Fort Worth.

Lakeview Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. The event is free and open to the public.

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