Planting Seeds Mural

Planting Seeds Mural

Enriching Student Stories

The Mural Project first started in 2016 and was fueled by students’ desire to have an artwork that represents the unique stories and diversity of the campus community at University of St. Thomas. Undergraduate Student Government provided funding for a mural to be made in the Anderson Student Center. A committee was created, and the art process was led by local, Black-led art and design organization in North Minneapolis, Juxtaposition Arts.

This mural aims to continue important conversations happening at the University of St. Thomas; the design committee settled on these two questions to drive this discussion:

  1. What is something about yourself that you don’t want to forget – before you came here?
  2. What is something about yourself you can’t show here?

To think more deeply about these questions, Juxtaposition Arts and artist Susan Armington employed a participatory art exercise called Seed Objects. In this exercise, participants created a simple object out of a limited set of materials to answer one or both questions. The making process allows both a longer period of quiet reflection for each person, and a way to enrich each story once they were shared at the end of the session.

As you can see in the mural, these stories were powerful ones about experience, struggle and identity that St. Thomas students and staff bring with them every day but may not be immediately visible.

Engaging with the Mural’s Stories

We invite our St. Thomas community to view, examine and share their perceived experience as they reflect on the message of the mural. We ask the viewer to reflect on the mural and if inclined utilize Gantz’s process “The Story of Self, Us, and Now” and answer the following questions:

  1. Story of Self – What do I see of myself in the mural?
  2. Story of Us – What does the mural say about St. Thomas?
  3. Story of Now – A “story of now” is not simply a call to make a choice to act – it is a call to “hopeful” action. What is your "hopeful" action, what is it that you want to see happen now?

Fill out “The Story of Self, Us, and Now” form and share your thoughts with the committee (you may choose to remain anonymous). We will compile the reflections and will share them with the campus community.

Our hope is that we can work together to share the journey of our “Planting Seeds as We Grow into the Future of Mind, Culture and Spirit" mural.  We want to learn from all of you, and create an understanding of what moves me, what moves my community and then what action is required of us given the challenges that we face.

Committee Members

  • Dr. Patricia Conde-Brooks
  • Dr. Heather Shirey
  • Dr. Todd Lawrence
  • Dr. Mike Klein
  • Alexander Hernandez-Siegel
  • Dia Yang
  • Diversity Activities Board
  • Undergraduate Student Government

Special Thanks

  • Juxtaposition Arts: Niko Kuboto, Greta Kotz, and Jared Hanks
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • St. Thomas Art History Department
  • Mural Workshop Participants
  • Art Research Scholars