Hicks Mural 2

CCU unveils student-, alumni-created mural in Hicks Dining Hall

Environment | January 16, 2024

A new mural that marks the culmination of a collaboration between Coastal Carolina University’s visual arts department and the CCU Food Crew was revealed in Hicks Dining Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 16. The mural, located between the Main Ingredient and Toasted Deli stations, is designed to welcome patrons as they enter the dining hall.

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Under the leadership of Logan Woodle, associate professor and department chair, and Yvette Arendt, associate professor, two student artists directed the project from conceptualization to implementation. Led by CCU alum, Ava Starnes, and student, Cebastian Thompson, and assisted by students Morgan (MJ) Hughes and Autumn Belvin, the mural was created to capture the true essence of the CCU experience.

“The mural goes so far beyond creating a visually appealing feature, but, as I see it, it is a statement of shared departmental, divisional/college, and institutional values,” said Steve Harrison, vice president for auxiliary enterprises.

During Summer 2023, Hicks Dining Hall underwent a significant renovation, providing a renewed and modern atmosphere for students, faculty, and staff.

“When planning for the renovation, we had the idea that students should have the opportunity to leave their mark on the newly remodeled space,” said Sandy Baldridge-Adrian, associate vice president for auxiliary enterprises.

Upon completion of the renovation, CCU Food Crew developed a partnership with the visual arts department to provide student artists an opportunity to produce a commissioned art piece. After a series of brainstorm and collaboration meetings, organized by Starnes and Thompson, the student artists began working to bring the mural to life. The team created a piece of art that embodies what it means to be a Chanticleer with the hope that all students see themselves represented in the mural. The mural is expected to provide various photo opportunities for current and future Chanticleers.

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“One of the most rewarding aspects of the project was the opportunity to engage with the wider Coastal Carolina University community,” said Starnes. “My college experience has come full circle by contributing this mural to the university, drawing upon the valuable experience I gained as a student.”

Thompson said, “Not only is the mural an opportunity to do the thing I love, but it has also given me the chance to further develop my professional skills while still in undergrad.”

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