Student unveils mural at college library

The halls of Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library at West Virginia Wesleyan College have been seeing some changes as of late.

However one addition, a new wall to mark off a new programming space, seemed a bit too bare for all the renovations. Paula McGrew, director of library services and associate professor of library sciences, decided the space needed a facelift, so she contacted Ellen Mueller, assistant professor of art, who was on board with finding a student to decorate the space.

Spencer Kinnard, a junior painting and drawing and philosophy major and business minor from Friendly, won the chance to display an original piece of artwork in the form of a mural. With 50 hours and gallons of paint later, the space was filled with the faces of thinkers and creators of years past. Paintings of mathematicians such as Einstein, philosophers like Plato and musicians such as John Lennon now don the 10-by-12-foot wall.

“My inspiration for this piece came from a combination of two ideas,” Kinnard said. “Those ideas were a pursuit of knowledge paired with an understanding about both the human condition and humanities as a whole. The extension of this pursuit can really be attributed back to those who make up the center of the piece; in this case, it is very literally Plato.”

Wesleyan’s own late Poet Laureate Irene McKinney even makes an appearance in the piece.

Kinnard titled his creation “Progression” and adopted the following quotation to represent the concept for the piece: “Despite everything that we have learned, questions linger and remain. Who are we, where are we going, and what will tomorrow bring?”

These are perfect reflections of not only Kinnard’s mural, but also of the library. With such positive, progressive changes that have occurred this year, both the college and library staff members cannot help but ask themselves, “What will tomorrow bring?”

The library hosted an unveiling ceremony March 25 in the new space. McGrew began the ceremony with a brief description of not only how this space and piece came to be, but also of Kinnard and his work ethic.

“This project really was about the students, and now we have an awesome space for gatherings,” McGrew said. “The subject matter Spencer chose was absolutely incredible; I cannot say enough good things about his professionalism and talent.”

Kinnard plans to pursue a career as a visual artist and to accept challenges like this along the way.