Diversity mural returns to renovated CUB

“Common Ground” mural returns to renovated CUB
When the Compton Union Building closed in 2006 for renovation, a mural celebrating diversity on the Washington State University campus went into storage.

With the reopening of the CUB in 2008, the painting, a mural entitled “Common Ground,” returned and now has a new plaque to go along with it.

Originally located in the CUB’s main stairwell, the mural is on a ground floor wall near the walkway between the building and Terrell Library.

In April 1995, during a four-week stay on campus, artist Katrin Wiese of Riverside, Calif., used acrylics to paint the mural which is in three sections, each 5 ½-foot square.  In October of that year, the painting was dedicated.

The mural was the idea of Nelson Abbey, then a member of the Associated Students of WSU Senate.  Formerly of Pullman, he is a 1994 WSU graduate.
Writing about the mural, Paul Brians, WSU emeritus professor of English, notes that it features “ghost figures of “WSU people from earlier days.” The only recognizable professor in the mural, he wrote, is Ricardo Sanchez, a “much-loved poet and teacher of creative writing,” who died in September 1995.

Donations by WSU colleges and administrative units paid for the mural, which cost nearly $10,000. The colleges and units are credited on the new plaque, which was installed recently by the CUB Marketing office, said Steve Nakata, of the university’s Division of Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity.

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