A Methodist University courtyard at the center of campus has become a perfect spot for students to study and relax – thanks in part to the work of a local artist.
James Marshall – also known as Dalek – was commissioned by the University to create a one-of-a-kind mural in the Trustees Building courtyard. The space, which includes two balconies and four large walls, was transformed into a geometric mural that echoes the mid-century modern architecture of the Stevens and Wilkinson firm – the first designers of MU’s campus. It also showcases a color palette reflective of both natural elements and the University’s green and gold colors.
“The second I stepped onto campus, I knew Dalek was the artist for this job,” said Andrew Prieto, MU’s assistant professor of art and visual art exhibition coordinator, and the curator for the mural. “It’s collaborative and engaging. This is such a beautiful space on campus, and I hope it resuscitates it as a place where we can have events, where students can come and spend time away from the world, and where students can work on class projects with one another.”
Dalek is an artist and designer based in Raleigh who has published two books featuring his artwork and has been included in many other books and magazines. His artwork has also appeared on a wide variety of media, including sneakers, sculptures, and a Scion car.
Although Dalek created and painted most of the design, he also invited MU students to assist with the mural for a day – providing students a special connection to the work.
“This design is meant to reflect off of the architecture that it lives in,” said Dalek. “Art like this can get people excited because it injects some color and life into a space. I think that when students come here, they’ll have a space they can enjoy. The colors are very soothing and relaxing, and it works with the courtyard’s natural environment. I hope it drives more students to spend time here and even take photos.”