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Environmental Mural Partnership Course Featured on DPTV

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Photos: Katherine Raymond (Stamps BFA 18)

Recently, Stamps Professor Joe Trumpey, Jordyn Fishman (BFA 19), and Theresa Landrum, the Community Communications Liaison from The Original United Citizens of Southwest Detroit, were featured on Detroit Public Television’s Detroit Performs to discuss their collaborative work in the Fall 2017 course, ARTDES 310 / ENVIRON 305: Environmental Mural Partnership.”

A course cross-listed in both the Program in the Environment and the Stamps School of Art & Design semester offerings, Environmental Mural Partnership opened with deep inquiry into Great Lakes environmental issues though a partnership with the Great Lakes Office of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Research included a visit to the Lake Erie algal bloom.

With knowledge of this devastation in-hand, the 22 students in Trumpey’s class partnered with communities through The Original United Citizens of Southwest Detroit and the Detroit Walls program to address environmental issues through the creation of public murals. The Detroit Performs segment showcases their work with The Original United Citizens of Southwest Detroit, creating a mural in the most polluted zip code in the state of Michigan, Detroit’s 48217.

On the 48217 mural, Fishman states: This isn’t our voice. This is the community’s voice. We go to school at the University of Michigan, we don’t live here. We are painting this mural, but we can only learn from the people who live here.”

At the end of the term, the students had painted close to 4500 square feet of murals. Inspiring change is making topics visible and letting people see and understand it,” Trumpey said. We need to acknowledge that there is a problem to show how people can come together to fight it.”