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Arts & Culture

Behind the Beauty, a Sense of Place

Art and Architecture Connect With Community in Mural Project

By Maryland Today Staff

Idyllic scenes of nature and towering, colorful hands communicating in American Sign Language are more than a pretty backdrop for al fresco diners at The Hall CP in the University of Maryland’s Discovery District. The sweeping mural project led by Assistant Professor of Art Brandon J. Donahue is an example of how a community—in this case, that of the campus—can come together to beautify a place and begin fertile conversations about a shared future.

Donahue is one of the faculty members involved with UMD’s new creative placemaking minor, which started this fall as a collaboration between the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the College of Arts and Humanities and is part of the university's Arts for All initiative. It will imbue students with expertise that allows them to support a community’s vision and nurture vibrant, socially responsive and just places.

Student artists creating with Donahue’s guidance are the focus of the latest installment of the new video series, “Enterprise: University of Maryland Research Stories,” which gives a window into how placemaking research translates into enhanced spaces for all.

Video by Bethany Swain

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