Troy University’s International Arts Center is a hub for creativity, expression and learning, and two recent graduates are expressing that spirit through a new mural.
Sara Ivey and Karvarus Moore, who both graduated in May with degrees in fine arts, have spent the last few weeks painting a mural of the terracotta warriors, which are on display in Janice Hawkins Park, on the back entrance wall of the IAC.
The mural represents a beautiful symbol of the statues seen outside and the information contained inside the “Warriors Unearthed” exhibit.
“A former classmate and I decided to propose an idea, which is this mural,” said Ivey, who was recently hired by Dothan City Schools as an elementary art teacher. “We’re very passionate about it, because we wanted to leave a mark for other students to see. We wanted to create something that transitioned you into this space.”
The two began work on the project more than three weeks ago.
“This mural is something heartfelt and important to us,” said Moore, who will begin graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago this fall. “For us as former art students to be able to contribute something of this magnitude to TROY’s campus, being recent graduates, it’s a cool feeling. The warriors are a focus here at the IAC, and TROY prides itself on being an international school. The mural ultimately brings a universal melding of two cultures, East and West.”
As art students, the development of the IAC meant much to both alumni as they navigated their academic careers.
“It’s been hugely important,” Moore said. “They opened it my sophomore year. Beforehand we only had one building across from the Trojan Center, and it was kind of limiting. In this space, we can have much more appealing shows, and it gives students a sense of accomplishment to see their galleries here. It’s been instrumental these past few years, whether through our senior thesis show or just by having visitors and students come through here a lot.”
Ivey said she hopes to use the spirit of encouragement she felt at TROY to lead her future students into a love of the arts.
“I definitely want to have students who are very passionate about art, and a lot of times it takes building them up to that,” she said. “I’ll never discourage them. As an artist, if I had had someone discourage me early on, I wouldn’t have pursued it. I want to encourage them the way I was encouraged here at TROY.”
For Moore, the mural was a chance to work with his friend and leave a lasting legacy before he pursues his career in art and education in Chicago.
“I’ll be working to get my master’s degree, to become a better artist and to become a professor,” he said. “I want to grow in my artistic abilities. We’ve grown a lot through this mural. We branched out from our comfort zone in this project. It’s been pretty cool to do that with Sara.”