Thurgood Marshall mural painted by Installed Art student Morgan
Ariyana Griffin, Contributing Writer with MSU Spokesperson
Fine arts graduate Alexandria Wingate wondered throughout her enrollment at Morgan State University how she would leave her mark on campus.
She responded only this semester when her mural was installed in the newly renovated Thurgood Marshall Residence.
The two-story, blue-toned mural captures Thurgood Marshall at three different points in his life and career.
After researching Marshall’s life and legacy, Wingate decided to use multiple images to create a compact and powerful image that flaunts.
From start to finish, the entire project took a year and a half. The mural has not yet been officially unveiled, but it was recently installed in the residence.
“She didn’t just sit down and start drawing and painting a picture. It was a full semester of research and development, another full semester of making the painting,” said Blaise DePaolo, a visual arts teacher who was also part of the design team for the mural.
Wingate also worked alongside historian Larry Gibson, who helped her understand Marshall’s life and legacy through research, books, and photography.
Wingate is grateful and excited for this opportunity to leave her mark on Morgan’s campus in such a historic way.
“I always thought, will I succeed as an artist? Will I succeed one day? But this opportunity given to me is a milestone for anyone. Especially someone who is like me and is at the start of his career,” Wingate said.
She is happy to have created something she can reflect on and that will last a lifetime for her future generations to see.
The original oil painting is on a 30 inch by 20 inch canvas; the canvas was then professionally photographed and printed, to create a large mural that students can view in the residence hall.
“The technology is now so good that you can take a small oil painting and you can take a picture of it, and you can enlarge that picture so that it’s as big as in the residence,” said FromPaolo.
She hopes the students realize that the mural was curated by one of their peers and that they are motivated to work towards achieving their dreams.
“I feel like that [the mural] can be seen as an uplifting mural for someone who has done such a good thing with their life. And, watching that when you get off the elevator and go to your classes is fine,” said Madison Blackwell, a freshman business administration student.
Like DePaolo, Wingate is thrilled the mural is on display and wants to remind students to keep working hard.
“I have to keep working no matter what, as long as you stay consistent the more opportunities you will have,” Wingate said.