This summer, Professor Leslie Robison and graduating senior Sean-michael Cusick spent every wednesday and friday at the St. Johns Juvenile Correctional Facility, working with the young detainees on conceiving of, designing and executing a mural for the facility's multi-purpose room.
"When we first started the project, I asked the young men incarcerated there (at the Juvenile Corrections Center) to think about the public nature of murals, using Diego Rivera and WPA murals as models for how artists can share thoughts and instruct viewers. They decided that it would be a good idea to leave a message behind for other young men," Robison said of the project. "Of course, we had to think about how to deliver the message- they kept coming up with ideas about choices and the paths one could take through life. Sean and I decided on going, literally, with divergent paths but leaving the message otherwise ambiguous: one path is a little darker, the other lighter, but the sign says 'this path' and 'that path', it's not supposed to be preachy."
"Sean was a huge contributor to the success of the project. Not only did he design the final image, but he also helped our new 'students' learn to hold the brush, and choose and mix colors. He also assigned them areas to work on every day. This was an enjoyable experience," Robison said.