Mural currently being painted will celebrate message of diversity

A 4-foot by 26-foot mural celebrating the message of diversity is being created on the Ripon College campus. Painting began ths week on the side of Johnson Residence Hall facing Thorne Street. The mural will effectively be on campus while still being highly visible to anyone in the city of Ripon.

Painting II students of Professor of Art Rafael Francisco Salas submitted proposals for the design, which then were sent to diversity groups on campus for feedback. The winning design is by Bailey Zanck ’22 of New Berlin, Wisconsin.

“The goal of this project is to bring awareness to the racial inequity that plagues modern society through the use of a large-scale mural on Ripon College grounds,” Zanck says. “The anticipated outcomes for this project include the increase in awareness on the topic of racial inequity as well as the backlash that often follows this discussion. Through implementing the mural, however, I hope to alleviate some of the tension by starting a conversation.”

She describes the design as featuring the words DIVERSE NOT DIFFERENT, “which will be in bold, yellow block lettering against a black background. The fill of each character in the word ‘diverse’ will consist of a different traditional ethnic textile patterns from places such as Polynesia, India, Africa, Asia and Europe. The patterns are meant to represent different minority groups and the formatting of these patterns to a simple black-and-yellow color scheme allows for no one place to be more emphasized than another.

“The black-and-yellow color scheme as well as the fist motif are references to the Black Lives Matter movement which was the basis for Ripon College moving to put a mural up in the first place. I created this design with the intent to include as many different people as possible into the discussion of racial inequity in the hopes that the idea of diversity being something to celebrate rather than an ‘othering’ quality is one that the world is beginning to fully embrace. People have been persecuted for centuries on the perceived idea that differences in race equal a hierarchy of the value of human life, when in reality, everyone, at the center of what makes them human, is exactly the same.”


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