Art Students Plan Mural Set to Debut Spring 2023

Daren Gonzalez, Staff Writer

Moreno Valley College Art students are busy this term designing a mural planning to cover the concrete panels around the main stairway of the Humanities building.  Rosy Cortez, a painter and muralist that graduated from the college in 2012, will assist the students with the project.

Dr. Lauren Johnson, the Art History professor at Moreno Valley College wants the mural to be an inspiration for students to move forward and continue to grow in education after the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want it to reflect the MVC community, the experiences, goals, and hopes of our students,” said Dr. Johnson. “We also want it to reflect the growth that can happen through an education, professional development, but also personal growth that students can undergo when they perceive knowledge and developing skill.”

The project, which started this past September is scheduled to be finished by mid spring 2023, with the grand opening following some time in late spring. An exact theme is still not known, however the art students will continue to develop ideas during the winter term and start on the mural in the spring term.

“The other murals [on campus] were commissioned from an artist back in the ‘90s, but this will be the first community mural,” said Cortez. “It’s not just open to the students, it’s open to anyone that wants to join in and paint with me or come up with a design.”

The money for this project was secured through the Riverside Community College District Foundation grant. Dr. Johnson applied for the grant at the beginning of the Fall term and it was supported by Dean Kevin Stewart and Moreno Valley College President, Robin Steinback.

“Anybody who would like to provide ideas or suggestions at this early stage of planning can use our feedback form to submit those ideas and share them with me,” said Dr. Johnson. “You can also complete the form if you are interested in getting information about the community paint days once they’re scheduled.”

For those who don’t know, Cortez is an artist who works in the Inland Empire and is a member of the Eastside Arthouse. She has completed several murals and other works of art prior to this project. Many of her works are on display in museums and galleries across Southern California, and she also has her own blog where she posts art and connects with her fans.

“I am really proud of coming back and finally being able to say I am a fulltime working artist, that was always my dream,” Cortez said. “Being able to go back to the school where I studied to paint a mural is my full circle moment to show other students that they can be successful too.”