Spotlight #4: Alexus Jungles: Beyond the Blue: Cyanotype’s Qualities of Light, Time, and Space - Advisor:Dr. Elaine Rutherford

"I am a senior art major at CSB and recognize the importance of public art as well as learning from and understanding others within a community. My research has been a part of an ongoing student led, collaborative mural project that centers around the themes of the Benedictine values. I am the lead artist on this year's mural "Justice," and have worked Sophie Koloski and Christian Williams, two other CSB/SJU students that have been an important part of this year's mural. Through collaborative conceptual conversations, to design, to the physical painting that to the finished product, I have been immersed in learning ways in which art can speak and raise conversations about living in and with a community. I have also been a part of the past two community murals: "The Community We Want" and "The Work of Community" which are currently being displayed on a Link bus. As a student who has participated in the project, I am presenting myself as a spokesperson for the collaborative communal project."

"While I believe that this ongoing community mural project fits all of the institutional learning goals, I would say that embracing difference really stands out in this project. The Benedictine values are our basis of conversation and design. The first two murals were the result of the value "Community," specifically the first one being "The Community We Want." During the discussions and design process, we worked together, learned from each other, and came to respect one another. Each of the students that have participated in the research process has come to know one another more and consider each other’s unique backgrounds. One example of this is a specific design that is featured on of both the first mural, "The Community We Want" and the newest mural "Justice.” Both have an image of an inverted map of the world. The inversion of the world map raises questions of our preconceptions about what we know to be North and South or above and below. The mural "Justice" further challenges us to think more about others’ perspectives through circles of inclusion and exclusion.This year’s mural “Justice” takes into account the abstract and conflicting principles of justice and injustice. It shows recognition of prejudices, while also bringing light to ways in which we, as a local and greater community, can work towards inclusivity, fairness, and understanding. Not only has working with a group of unique students across many majors, years, and backgrounds been an impactful way this community mural project has embraced difference, but the design concepts and conversations around the Benedictine themes have enlightened each of us individuals to become more aware of multiple perspectives on identity, power, inclusivity, and human differences. The continuation of this community mural project physically and mentally connects the two campuses and inspires conversation about the nature of all communal relationships."

"I would want future CSB/SJU students to take risks and step outside of their comfort zones. When you are comfortable you don't learn anything, so step outside, get to know people that have different backgrounds than you, and don't be afraid to try something new."

"Art Club
Office of Marketing and Communications"