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Artist's works sets lab's tone - UMSL celebrates diversity
By Michael Penrod and Greg Uptain
The University of Missouri - St. Louis is celebrating cultural diversity and awareness through art.
Brad Shaw, an artist-in-residence, from the Missouri Arts Council, is sprucing up the Center for Human Cultural Origin and Cultural Diversity (CHOCD) [sic.] at UMSL.
Shaw is enhancing the room’s African appearance by painting a sky on the ceiling, composing a movable mural that reflects the Kenyan landscape, creating a mango tree and transforming surfaces into authentic-looking storefronts.
Shaw, who lives in Kansas City, has been painting for more than 25 years. He said he tries to take advantage of every opportunity to paint new and different murals and designs.
"I do a lot of set building and design," Shaw said. "I’m usually called for building the unusual props most people aren’t used to."
Jacquelyn Lewis-Harris, CHOCD director, said she asked Shaw to paint the mural rather than have students do the work in order to provide a professional perspective.
"We thought it would be great to bring in a professional to work with our interns," Lewis-Harris said. "The students get pretty enthusiastic."
Shaw said that he has never worked with student helpers before, but said he finds the additional manpower very useful.
"The students have been really helpful," Shaw said. "I’m not used to the help."
Lewis-Harris said the props will be used in future presentations by the CHOCD.
"His design will also be mobile for our summer program, "Summer of Fun: Kids Building Community for North County Kids,’ " Lewis-Harris said. "It will first be able to be previewed when the camp starts June 14."
Lewis-Harris said Shaw will be working on the mural until this Friday.