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Student Mural Installed in East Lansing, Mich.

Malarie French, graphic design and packaging double major, and Will Mianecki, graphic design and professional writing double major, created a mural that's now on display outside MSUFCU's East Lansing location.

Two Department of Art, Art History and Design students now have their artwork permanently displayed in downtown East Lansing as the winners of the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union mural competition.

Malarie French, graphic design and packaging double major, and Will Mianecki, graphic design and professional writing double major, created the winning design, which was painted by MFA graduate student Sam Bennett and unveiled at a special ceremony on April 26.

The outdoor mural can be found on the north exterior wall of the new Michigan State University Federal Credit Union location in downtown East Lansing.

“The most exciting part about the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union mural commission is the opportunity to create work on a large scale that has the potential to be viewed by so many people,” Mianecki said.

The mural was designed for passersby to connect with the local communities surrounding MSU, East Lansing and Lansing.

“The essence of the mural is community,” French said. “Not just the MSU community, but the East Lansing and Lansing community as well.”

The design includes a topographical map to showcase physical connectivity and community as well as images of MSU and the Capital.

“When we were brainstorming themes that would be appropriate for the space, we kept coming back to the importance of community and the value of connection,” Mianecki said. “We thought the concept would be relevant and important to potential viewers and MSUFCU.”

The selected mural was completed off site. Overall, the process took about two months to complete – one for drafting sketches and making revision and another for painting and installation.

“The mural features an abstracted historic topographic map of the area that is folded to reflect the dynamic and diverse nature of the three communities,” Mianecki said. “The folds create the illusion of three-dimensionality and activate the mural space to engage passersby. The word ‘connect’ is threaded through the folded forms of the composition in order to articulate the mural’s call-to- action.”

The Michigan State University Federal Credit Union mural competition was announced in late January, with the top three proposals receiving a monetary prize. The competition was open to all undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in courses in the Department of Art, Art History and Design.

“This project furthers the college’s ongoing partnerships and connections with Michigan State University Federal Credit Union,” said Christopher Long, dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “At the same time, it speaks to the centrality of the arts in the East Lansing community and is a vivid reminder of how art enriches the city in creative new ways.”

- Kimberly Popiolek via MSU Today

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