Following the Mississippi River downstream, former Minnesotan and, more recently, LSU MFA graduate Raina Wirta has completed a wall mural for the Communication across the Curriculum Art & Design Studio.
Wirta said her art is, “inspired by nature,” and the mural at CxC makes this notion apparent by bringing the subject of the mural to life with vivid colors and textual elements. The mural is reminiscent of a topographical map—Wirta collaborated with landscape architecture graduate student Matty Williams—and features the LSU campus and some of its surrounding areas in both paint and collaged tessellations. The concept for the mural also encompasses the four modes CxC certifies in courses designated as communication intensive: visual (mural and map), technological (laser-cut stencils), and written and spoken (with a Mina Loy poetry quote). This work is one of the Wirta’s newest, celebrated community works.
While a graduate student at LSU, Wirta co-founded Elevator Projects in 2012. “Now that I have graduated, I have time to think about where I want Elevator Projects to go from here,” Wirta said. As described on Elevator Project’s Facebook page, “Elevator Projects provides a platform for circulating creative, contemporary, and challenging ideas. We see ideas as a counterweight to raise the creative individual, engage the community, and inspire the city of Baton Rouge.” Of course, that sense of community is what makes Elevator Projects thrive in the Baton Rouge art scene. “We are always looking for collaborators and more members,” Wirta said. “We would love to get more of the student population involved as well.”
The mural is on display at the Art & Design CxC Studio in room 104A of the Design Building. CxC is accessible to all students and faculty and is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday by appointment or walk-in. CxC offers many resources, including tutoring, which is available for student projects; portfolio development; and professional development endeavors, as well as classwork. CxC offers camera, audio, and lighting equipment for check out as well as a digital documentation area for students to photograph their work. Wirta’s mural is also a backdrop to more recent studio initiatives in 3D scanning and 3D printing.