New mural brightens University Center
Dixie Sutton, left, and Brittany Wilkins, right, look over their work
at the University Center.
A colorful cityscape layered over a rendering of Chattanooga landscape is featured on a mural in the University Center commons lobby, the creation of Shuptrine scholarship recipient and rising senior Brittany Wilkins and University alumna Dixie Sutton. Acrylic paint was used by the artists, who said they borrowed from post modernism and impressionism.
“The idea of a mural takes art out of the gallery and into a public space,” said Wilkins, who majors in painting and drawing. “A mural challenges the boundaries of fine art.”
Moccasin Bend is an easily recognizable part of the painting’s landscape, while the vibrant color in the cityscape provides a provocative contrast. “We wanted to be responsive to the architecture of the building with geometry and a grid-like structure of a cityscape against the organic shapes,” said Sutton, who majored in both painting and drawing and graphic design at UTC.
When the request was made to paint a Chattanooga landscape, Wilkins wanted to satisfy the request “and include enough of ourselves for a true collaboration.” Forgoing the typical downtown icons of the bridges and the Tennessee Aquarium, they decided on a different direction. Their color choices were “complete impulse” according to Wilkins, who added “a wall is like a canvas. You cannot put a picture on the wall. You have to let it evolve.”
The artists estimate their work took thirty hours to create, and they worked in two-three hour shifts.
Wilkins’ has also painted two UTC logos in the University Center. “I am interested in doing work on a grand scale,” she said. “Art at the University is tucked away at the Fine Art Center. So many people have responded to the mural; it is very accessible.”
There is something wiggy happening in the last graph of the web story New mural brightens University Center—should be: This has been a “fabulous first project,” for Wilkins and Sutton, who see it as the launch for their new business red wagon wall art by painters. Both are capable of working independently to produce portraits, but together they are interested in whatever a client envisions. “We want to involve our clients as much or as little as they want. If they want to help create a piece, that’s great,” said Wilkins.
July 17, 2007