UA Community Completes the Moving Mural Project

Vince Redhouse
April 23, 2013

When I was younger, I was an avid reader. In particular, I especially took to poetry and spent many summer days memorizing line after line of Pablo Neruda, George Santayana, W. B. Yeats and others. I and would recite them aloud as I walked through the grassy fields of a nearby park.

Of all the thousands of poems I sifted through, there is one passage that has always stuck with me. It came from the great American poet Robert Frost: "'Men work together,’ I told him from the heart, 'Whether they work together or apart.’"

In two simple lines, those words encompass everything that I wanted the Moving Mural Project to be, and everything that it has become.

For this project, the murals traveled across campus with stop at UA's African American Student Affairs, Asian Pacific Student Affairs, Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs, Native American Student Affairs, the Disability Resource Center, the LGBTQ Pride Alliance, the Women’s Resource Center and the V.E.T.S. Center – a very diverse set of participants.

What I saw happen during this project was not diversity, but similarity. You see, even though everyone wanted to paint their own unique square, I often noticed similar patterns or designs across the murals. Less salient than the paint on the mural was the similarity of the people that chose to participate.

Despite differences in race, culture, gender, sexual orientation or anything else, the people who came together to make this project work all had a common trait: a willingness to be open. What I heard was encouragement and compliments between the students, faculty and staff who came to work on the project.

One reason the project is so valuable is that it allowed people to open themselves up; to not be afraid. Once that happened and the paint began the dry, the murals begun to take shape.  

In the end, the murals came to represent those old lines by Robert Frost because they showed people in those centers and around the campus that there are people just like them; people who struggle to fight, to persevere, to fit-in, to continue each and every day. And like themselves, those people fight for a better tomorrow; an equal tomorrow.

Knowing that there are so many people out there just like you is something that the students who view these murals and the students that participated in these murals will always be able to take solace in. The next step is to ensure that the dialogue between these centers remains active so that we can continue to work together.

One last note, a special, special thanks to UA art professor Alfred J. Quiroz for making this happen. Words cannot describe my gratitude and appreciation for that man.

Photo credit: Beatriz Verdugo/UANews

Vince Redhouse (Navajo) transferred to the UA from Pima Community College to pursue a degree in the Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law with a minor in Spanish. With help from UA art professor Alfred J. Quiroz, Redhouse launched the campus-wide Moving Mural Project Feb. 4 at the African American Student Affairs.

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