Mural spruces up Bryan Center Greenhouse

Whether the new mural of the Durham skyline in the Bryan Center, the ever-changing graffiti in the East Campus tunnel or the Nasher Museum of Art’s tenth anniversary Artstigators buses, you may have noticed several art pieces popping up around campus this year. But the newest work of art on campus may not have caught your eye— yet. Located in the Bryan Center Greenhouse, the newest mural on campus is off the beaten path for most Duke students—and for a reason.

“The mural location was selected precisely because the BC Greenhouse is off the beaten path,” said Chris Roby, the executive director of the University Center Activities and Events (UCAE.) “We hoped that bringing life to the space with cool art and more comfortable furniture would get students’ attention and lead them to explore the amazing student resources that seem hidden, but are really at the heart of West Campus. Our goal was to take a non-inviting space and make it lively and fun.”

The mural was painted by Josh McBride, a local Durham artist whose work has been featured throughout the United States. He previously painted the mural of the downtown Durham skyline in the BC next to Griffith Theater.

“We wanted a mural that would make sense in the BC Greenhouse. We thought a ‘jungle-like’ feel would look good and complement the space,” Roby said.

Several students, as well as the advisors for Small Town Records, Duke Student Broadcasting and Freewater Productions, were able to provide input on McBride’s design, Roby added. 

“The Greenhouse is the entrance to the creative work space and studio for several student organizations,” said DSB president Grace Oathout, a senior. “We wanted the entrance to reflect the type of work happening inside.“

This mural was not created for the sole purpose of livening up the Greenhouse space--its creation signals the beginning of something even bigger. 

“We are excited to launch DukeCreate media production workshops in the BC Greenhouse next Spring,” said Amy Unell, Career Center alumna-in-residence and Artstigators leader. “This will give students the opportunity to learn production skills from professionals, utilize the production studio, meet other students interested in media and further their creative interests outside of the classroom.”

Oathout noted the excitement already present among student groups looking to use the space. 

“All of the student organizations in the Greenhouse would love to transform the already incredible space into a welcoming hub for creative-minded students,” Oathout said. “We are so pleased with how it turned out and can’t wait to see what else we can do to transform the studio space students already love using.”

So whether it’s this semester or next, whether it’s to enjoy a lively space or whether it’s to participate in the exciting new workshops taking place, stop by the Greenhouse to enjoy this new student resource and expand your artistic horizons.

Watch a timelapse video of the mural being created here:


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