FSU Art MFA ’21 Samantha McCoy and Christopher Rivera teamed up to design and paint a new mural in the FSU Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) courtyard. The new 8 foot by 8 foot mural, titled ‘Paper Trails’, was completed over 5 days by the two artists. While inspired by the museum’s participation in the Big Bend Quilt Trail project in the fall of 2019, the project marks the first time the museum has placed a call for artists to create a mural in the courtyard. The call asked local artists: What kinds of images do you think are missing from the MoFA campus?
Paper Trails is a piece based on Florida’s roadside gardens and attractions. The image is based on a composition Christopher Rivera and I created. Our goal was to create a highly saturated, fragmented, and flat collage relating to the constructed and natural Florida landscapes. Working on the project was an absolute joy for both of us, it was our largest painting and first collaborative piece we have done together from start to finish. Our strengths really work well together. Once the planning portion was complete, the actual mural painting was a breeze! Working with another painter has it’s perks, there is a shared knowledge of the material, someone to help lighten the load, and an extra voice to push ideas in the right direction. Working outside during the day was an absolute dream in Tallahassee’s spring breezes, and it was a joy to see and talk with everyone in the museum as we worked. We are both so grateful for our experience with MoFA, how supportive they are with us as artists, as well as grateful to follow last year’s beautiful quilt square mural created by Elton Burgest.
– Samantha McCoy
Winners were selected by a jury consisting of professors from the departments of art and art history, working with the designer of the previous mural, FSU Art BFA ’18 Elton Burgest. Many strong applications were received for consideration, which were narrowed to 10 finalists for the jury’s consideration.
Sam and Chris are celebrating the vibrancy of our natural Florida landscape and also a bit of the weirdness that makes Florida Florida. The jury panel appreciated that Sam and Chris’s proposed image would resonate universally with anyone who came across it and that it would enliven the courtyard space with bright colors, bold shapes, and some fun.
– Meredith Lynn, Assistant Curator and Director of Galleries, FSU MoFA