Rollins Art Students Create Murals for Local Community

June 13, 2008

Rachel Simmons and students paint mural at Fern Creek Elementary School
Rollins students (from left to right) Michael Bridge, Elizabeth Hollabaugh, Sam Van Galder and work with Associate Professor of Art Rachel Simmons to create a mural at Fern Creek Elementary School in Orlando as part of Rollins' Student-Faculty Research Scholarship Program.

This summer, Rollins College Associate Professor of Art Rachel Simmons and three Rollins studio art majors are using their artistic abilities to create three original murals. The project is part of the Student-Faculty Research Scholarship Program. The public collaborative art project allows students to use their talents outside of the classroom and give back to the community. The first mural was painted at Fern Creek Elementary School in Orlando. Simmons chose to paint a mural at Fern Creek because the original mural was vandalized in December 2007.

Simmons and the students plan to paint two additional murals this summer at Winter Park Day Nursery and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando. “Students don’t get the opportunity to do large scale work in our small studio,” Simmons said. “Painting the murals gives them a unique opportunity to do what they love outside the classroom.”

The three Rollins students working on the murals this summer are Michael Bridge, Sam Van Galder and Elizabeth Hollabaugh. This is Simmons seventh year working with the Student-Faculty Research Scholarship Program and her second year painting murals throughout the local community.

The Student-Faculty Research Scholarship Program is led by Professor of Physics Thomas Moore and is open to all Rollins students. This summer, the program includes 22 students, 15 faculty members (from 10 different departments) and 18 projects. The Program is in its ninth year and offers students the opportunity to participate in high-level scholarly research or to produce a creative work while under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

This project was generously funded by the Rollins College Office of Community Engagement. Community Engagement fosters, encourages and promotes student, faculty and staff involvement within local and global communities through academic service learning and community-based research.

Read more about this project and view photo galleries on Simmons' Collaborative Community Art blog.

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