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The Mural of the Story

Alan Flurry

For more than decade now, Lamar Dodd School of Art professor Joe Norman has taken art students into the world of public art commissions with the creation and restoration of murals and wall signs across the state. The service projects evolved into Color the World Bright and more than two dozen murals, signs, and historic advertisements be found in communities across Georgia. The team currently includes a dozen UGA students and they are completing new work all the time, while more than 70 alumni have been part of this lasting experience:

The work, which is done on commission, has raised thousands of dollars for student scholarships and study abroad experiences. Norman says that Color the World Bright’s calendar is filled through the summer and includes some $65,000 in contracts. That’s a significant sum, but it represents one-half to one-third of what professional painting companies would charge clients. According to Norman, the money, while important, isn’t the goal. 

“We are students and professors. That’s our job.” Norman says.” This is fun. If we take it to the next level, then it’s work. Our goal is to do service and if we get paid for it, fine.”

The range of Color the World Bright’s work is impressive and the skill level is high. The students blend function, whimsy, history, and thoughtfulness to create art that promotes local businesses, brightens neglected corners, highlights a city’s history, welcomes visitors, and more.

Enjoy more photos, immersive video, and the full story...

Image: Meredith Lachlan, an MFA graduate of the Lamar Dodd School of Art, currently an adjunct professor (photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

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