Before graduating from Brock University next year, Chardon Trimble-Kirk hoped to leave a vibrant mark on campus.
And after committing more than 240 hours of work to a project at Brock’s International Centre this summer, the fourth-year Visual Arts student has done just that.
Trimble-Kirk was drawn to a request for proposals posted in April that sought someone to create a mural in a commonly used community space within the centre. She had an idea, which she named “Connections,” and submitted a scaled-down version for review.
Her vision featured chrysanthemums flowers, which are “symbolic of friendship and well-wishing,” she said. “Connecting them to a variety of countries intends to showcase the friendship that can be found in individuals regardless of their country of origin.”
Leigh-Ellen Keating, Director of Brock International, said the design chosen for the project had to meet certain criteria, including being reflective of the entire Brock community, including faculty, staff and students from more than 100 countries around the world. It also needed to highlight the importance of internationalization and globalization, a key part of the University’s new Strategic Plan.
After careful deliberation by a committee of Brock University representatives, Trimble-Kirk’s design was selected for the project and she began the painting in June.
The newest symbol of Brock’s growing international community now stands more than 15 feet wide and nine feet tall in the Global Commons, a student lounge inside the International Centre that’s home to events and activities open to the entire Brock community.
It is by far the largest project that Trimble-Kirk has ever worked on. Her previous record was four six-by-three-foot paintings for a third-year class.
The experience led to a number of firsts for the artist.
“I used scaffolding for the first time to complete the higher sections,” Trimble-Kirk said. “I had also never painted directly on brick walls and found myself learning to work with the texture rather than fight it.”
The mural will be officially unveiled during Brock International’s Open House on Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the International Centre.
Trimble-Kirk, who will continue doing freelance paintings after she graduates, plans to apply to a Master of Fine Arts program in the coming years.