Art meets science in campus Earth Day mural project

UCSC art students Amanda Porter and Amelia Katkov created this painting for the fourth-floor greenhouse at Thimann Laboratories.
Art student Kelly Tokubo at work on the mural (photos by Christine Bors)

Ten UCSC art students spent Earth Day weekend creating a mural project at the Thimann Laboratories Greenhouse. The project was organized by Christine Bors, a senior art student and the educational outreach coordinator for the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery.

"We had a team of volunteers painting a nature and scientific-themed mural to welcome the Arts Division into the science area of UCSC," said Bors. "It seems as if these two areas are often separated and the project was constructed to get students to unite together across different disciplines and divisions."

The mural-funded by the Sesnon Art Gallery and Stevenson College-is located on the fourth-floor greenhouse of Thimann Labs. The students used recycled paint for the entire mural, obtained from the city landfill on Dimeo Lane off Highway 1. Bors and greenhouse manager Jim Velzy collaborated in planning the project for the past six months.

Bors noted that the mural layout is consistent with environmental and plant life themes and is divided into 10 sequences, including underwater and terrestrial plant life, coastal plant life, Santa Cruz landscapes, and scientific explorations.

"Overall it was a fantastic event," noted Bors. "The Thimann Greenhouse walls are lively and filled with really bright and beautiful imagery. It's nice to incorporate the arts and sciences together on campus; I think this mural is a symbol of that union, and hopefully it can be the first of many such projects within the science and engineering departments at UCSC."

The artists who took part in the project are: Christine Bors, Amanda Porter, Emily Reese, Margaret Holland, Marcy Smith, Kelly Tokubo, Amelia Clare Katkov, Lauren Tedeschi, Evergreen Torres, and Dana Vallarino.