Inspiration struck when Sarah Myose was teaching children how to paint dandelions at CityArts.
“I was explaining to them that if you pick a dandelion, you make a wish and then you blow on it and hope it’ll come true,” Myose said. “That’s kind of like the journey of being in college, where you have a lot of opportunities ahead of you. I wanted to take that idea further.”
Wichita State had recently issued a call for proposals to “activate” Clinton Hall’s outdoor staircase facing the quad east of the Rhatigan Student Center. Myose wanted to apply, but didn’t have an idea — until that moment at CityArts.
Myose’s winning entry incorporated dandelion imagery into “Dreams and Wishes,” a mural that covers the entire stairway. They also included other wish imagery, such as shooting stars and wishbones. The mural is rendered mostly in cool, dreamy blues and purples. The exception are wavy stalks of yellow wheat, symbolizing WSU students.
“The staircase of Clinton Hall is symbolic to my vision,” Myose wrote in their proposal. “As each student, faculty, visitor and passerby step up these stairs, they will be an active participant in stepping closer to their dreams.”
Myose says they reflected on their own path at WSU as they worked on the design and concept of “Dreams and Wishes.”
“I’ve been super indecisive throughout college, and I think a lot of it was me hoping, wishing that I would find something that I feel passionate about,” Myose said.
Their search brought them to the honors baccalaureate program, which allows Cohen Honors College students to design a rigorous degree that includes two or three major areas from two different academic colleges. The degree also requires a thesis in addition to applied learning and research experiences.
In May, Myose will graduate with concentrations in studio art (College of Fine Arts) and sociology (Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). The two disciplines combine their interest in community engagement with art making.
"Dreams and Wishes” is part of WSU’s placemaking efforts, which began during the 2018-19 academic year. Previous placemaking projects include “Wulip Garden,” “The Pods at WSU,” painted electrical boxes and the installation of hammocks around campus. In addition to brightening the campus landscape, many placemaking projects also pay artists, including Myose.
The Clinton Hall project is the first funded through a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation.
For Myose, the mural is another part of their college journey.
“A lot of my aspirations have changed a lot,” they said. “Now, as I go onto my next stage of life, I’m dreaming for some big things to happen.”