UPike students create mural to reinforce lessons

January 17, 2014

PIKEVILLE – University of Pikeville’s “Visualizations of Hispanic Writings” course provided students a unique learning experience inspired by collaboration.

Art, literature, music and film were the backdrop for a mural created by students who began the fall semester studying the works of Hispanic artists and authors. The course was co-taught by Ella Smith, assistant professor of Spanish, and Pat Kowalok, professor of art. Guest lecturers Bruce Parsons, assistant professor of film and media arts, and Phillip Westgate, associate professor of music, led discussions on Hispanic culture.

“The mural project progressed beyond Hispanic culture into a theme of global awareness,” said Smith.

The class consulted UPike international students on the project. “We wanted to take a worldwide perspective and provide a feeling of home for our international students,” said Dustin Fitch, junior.

Flags representing the 31 native countries of UPike international students border the mural. National landmarks and expressive symbols from various cultures are featured in the artwork, including the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Mount Rushmore, Mayan Ruins, African and South American masks and the university’s historic “99 steps.”

“We need to be a global university,” said Thomas Browning, senior. “The mural represents where we came from and where we are going.”