Art students prepare to create campus chalk murals

Mural class first dayThe James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History invites the public to stop by Madonnari, the department's upcoming sidewalk chalk mural project that will be held on Wayne State University's campus Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. The murals will be located in the plaza area of A. Paul Schaap Chemistry Building and Lecture Hall, located at 5101 Cass Ave. in Detroit.

"Madonnari," or street painters, were known for reproducing simple images with crude materials such as chalk or coal. The practice is traced back to 16th century Italy.

Madonnari will feature approximately 15 sidewalk works of art made with chalk, created by students in a mural course taught by Associate Professor Margi Weir. This marks the first time the department has offered a mural course at Wayne State.

"These chalk murals will give students their first opportunity to try out works of large scale in an outdoor public space," said Weir. "There is perhaps a little less stress knowing that these chalk murals are temporary, even though they will be documented by the gallery in an online exhibition."

The murals will be documented for an online exhibition at for the public to view.

Weather permitting, students will begin their chalk murals from 2 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29, during their scheduled class. The students will continue to work on their murals Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., based on their availability. Later in the semester, the students will design a mural for the back facade of Old Main.

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