New murals, commissioned for 50th anniversary, color UAB’s campus

The newest mural, titled “Flourish,” was designed and painted by students and features a lush growth of green leaves, painted inside a pedestrian bridge over University Boulevard.

A new mural, designed and created by students, has brightened the walking commute on the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus.

Mural3Students Vianna Benjamin, biology major from Gulfport, Mississippi; Anna Parker, elementary education major from Birmingham; Matt Quarnstrom, civil engineering major from Pelham; and Alan Roper, accounting and medical industrial distribution major from Trussville.The green and gold flora-inspired mural is painted inside the pedestrian bridge over University Boulevard at 13th Street South. Students, staff and faculty use the bridge every day, and some even stop at the top to snap a selfie with the city and campus in the background. It is a signature moment on campus tours for prospective students, and the mural makes the spot even more Insta-worthy.

UAB commissioned the mural for its 50th anniversary. A second, portable mural of Blazer dragon wings lives in the UAB Campus Visit Center. UAB’s University Relations commissioned and paid for the murals. 

Student Sara Wood in the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History designed the pedestrian bridge mural. Titled “Flourish,” Wood’s mural references the UAB ideals of prospering, growth and flowering while supporting conservation and the importance of the natural world.

Wood and fellow students in the department’s Bloom Studio group painted the mural. Bloom Studio is run by UAB Graphic Design Associate Professor Doug Barrett, MFA. It offers UAB students opportunities to work directly with regional clients, local nonprofits and underserved communities and gain experience. The Bloom Studio class of 20 students pitched their mural designs, then voted for their top three favorites. University Relations voted for the final selection.

Graphic designer Rachel Hendrix on the University Relations team designed the portable dragon wings mural; Hendrix is a spring 2018 UAB graphic design alumna. The mural is ideal for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to take on the road to regional events to showcase the UAB brand and spirit, and also shows how the city of Birmingham is intertwined with UAB. The original art was printed on a backdrop banner.