Art Education Professor Rikki Asher and two graduate students creating the mural now displayed in Kiely Hall
Anyone who walks past the elevators on the first floor of Kiely Hall can’t miss the eye-catching “Life of the Mind” mural created last semester by 10 graduate art education students in Art Education Professor Rikki Asher’s class. The work of public art depicts through painted visual images the many ideas that flow through our minds. Now this colorful work will be enjoyed by an even larger audience when it is featured in the 2010 CUNY/New York Times Knowledge Network calendar, “Investing in Futures.”
“The mural is a meditation on what occurs at Kiely Hall, where so many students congregate in between classes…where the life of the academic mind flourishes and the imagination is released,” says Asher. It was inspired by the essays of philosopher and educator Maxine Greene, philosopher Hannah Arendt, and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.
“Maxine regarded the mural as a landmark (that) constitutes an expansion of QC’s public space – where people come together to act upon their freedom reflectively, collaboratively, imaginatively and leave the way open to untapped possibility,” observes Asher.
CUNY introduced a series of educationally themed calendars in 2005 to highlight the history, scope and diversity of public higher education and its vital role in a free society. This year’s calendar, which is also sponsored by JPMorgan Chase and TIAA-CREF, will soon have a companion website and free curricular materials for use in New York City’s public schools. Each calendar is published in English and Spanish and contains archival photos and period documents chronicling an issue central to American life, such as voting rights, immigration and women’s leadership.