Updated: Sep 14, 2022
In a display of unity and solidarity, students share a historical experience together celebrating the Southern University and LSU football game by painting a collaborative mural at the 70805 Conversion Center.
Photos by Matthew White
Art students from Southern University Laboratory School and LSU Laboratory School left campus on Wednesday, September 7 to spend the day painting a new mural located in the 70805 area.
“We have a historic collaboration between Southern and LSU Lab schools, both of whom reached out to each other and to me to set up this opportunity to express the excellence of both programs athletically, through science, through the arts, in this collaborative mural,” - Morgan Udoh, Public Arts and Placemaking Program Coordinator
Along with coordinating the day of work, Udoh created the design for the mural.
“Often when we think about Southern and LSU in general, we think about athletics, and it should be thought of because they’re both top tier programs, but they are so much more than that,” she said when explaining the design. “There are motifs throughout the mural that showcase both of their programs and running through the center of the design all the way through are the mashup of the two schools' branded colors, of which they both share gold and yellow. We have books anchoring the logos from both schools in the middle.”
Roughly two dozen students participated in the day of painting, which also turned into a dance party at least a few times.
“When the principal brought this to me it was a no-brainer,” said Southern University art instructor Christopher Turner. “Just to give them community service exposure and co-mingle with U-High was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”
“I hope the kids will see that we’re all the same,” said Elizabeth Mackey, U-High art instructor. “And I hope that they will step outside of their box a little bit and reach out into the community and do more for the community.”
The mural is located at the 70805 Conversion Center. It is headed by Mardia Scott, a native of Baton Rouge, who is a leader in the community and utilizes his space to host art events for the youths and showcase their talents, gain support and mentorship.
“It’s just a safe space for kids in this area,” Udoh explained. “70805 is often talked about a lot in regards to crime, but there really is a strong community here that just needs some additional support and investment and by bringing these two private schools that are public for enrollment over here, it just helps our students who will become future leaders to see what areas of town need their advocacy, need their collaboration, and need a listening ear.”
Both schools have expressed an interest in doing another collaborative piece in the spring.