A new time capsule mural was installed at Arkansas Tech University during the final full week of May as part of an ongoing collaboration between ATU and the Windgate Foundation.
The public mural was created by Haylee Bolinger, who served as Windgate Foundation Artist in Residence at ATU during the spring 2023 semester. The ATU Office of Facilities Management participated in the installation, which took place on the south side of Norman Hall, 203 West Q Street on the ATU campus in Russellville.
“It was really exciting to get to know the Russellville community,” said Bolinger. “I did a lot of downtown walking, I met the business owners and I taught a class here on campus. I was able to get a picture of what people value and something personal that was happening in their life at this moment in time. Transformation is the best description of the theme of the piece. There’s this great mixture of where we’re coming from and where we’re going. I hope the magic and excitement of that is captured in this piece. It’s been nice to build community with people I didn’t know before I came here.”
Individuals from the ATU community and beyond were invited to e-mail a photo of an object that holds personal value to them along with a story or memory about the object to Bolinger during the spring 2023 semester.
She used those items as inspiration to, as Bolinger described it during the process, “create a mural that is a vivid, dream-like snapshot of the things that bring us joy in 2023.”
Bolinger holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art from the University of Wyoming. While attending Arizona State, Bolinger was recognized for her artistic efforts by the International Sculpture Center with the outstanding student achievement award in contemporary sculpture.
Since earning her Master of Fine Arts degree, Bolinger has maintained an active artistic practice and engaged in community building through her gallery. In 2015, she co-founded and has since directed the Carlos Queso Gallery in the Los Angeles, Calif., neighborhood Echo Park. The gallery focuses on providing emerging artists with a space to exhibit their work.
Bolinger has shown her work nationally and internationally over the past seven years with Got It For Cheap, a traveling group exhibition with more than 2,000 participating artists.
She has presented solo exhibitions of her artwork in Los Angeles, Calif., Tempe, Ariz., Buffalo, Wyo., and Laramie, Wyo. Bolinger’s artworks have been featured in Sculpture Magazine, Maake Magazine, LUX and Project Hieroglyph.
Bolinger is the fifth artist in residence in Arkansas Tech history. She was preceded by Manami Ishimura (spring 2019), Tiffany Black (spring 2020), Jade Hoyer (fall 2021) and Andrew Malczewski (spring 2022).
The program is made possible through a grant from the Windgate Foundation. Additional financial support from the Windgate Foundation over the past five years has allowed Arkansas Tech to establish a summer professional development program for K-12 art teachers, develop enhanced opportunities for ATU graduates to attend medical school, purchase equipment for Arkansas Tech nursing students and establish a need-based scholarship fund.
Learn more about the ATU Department of Art at www.atu.edu/art.