Franklin College Announces Ribbon-Cutting, Lecture to Commemorate “Spirit of Community” Mural

By Franklin College | | 2.12.24

On Monday, Feb. 26, Franklin College will host a lecture by Clowes Visiting Artist in Residence Tiffany Black. The lecture will take place in the B.F. Hamilton Library Auditorium at 6 p.m. Black will share details of the Immersive Term class she taught at the college during January. During the course, titled “Public and Community Art: Mural Creation,” she guided 23 students, step-by-step, through the stages of creating a community mural.

The artwork, known as the “Spirit of Community” mural, consists of four panels, each depicting a different aspect of Franklin College history: Tradition, Athletics, Innovation and Diversity. The design weaves in the present and also hints at the students’ imagined future for the college.

Following the lecture, guests are invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the mural. The artwork will be on permanent display in the skywalk connecting the B.F. Hamilton Library with the Napolitan Student Center. Following the ribbon-cutting, guests may enjoy refreshments and conversation during a reception on the second floor of the Napolitan Student Center.

The creation of the mural also included a public component. On Jan. 12, community members, alumni and fellow students were invited to help paint the mural through a paint-by-number process. Many people attended the event and helped put their own creative touch on the mural.

Black and the student artists worked with several departments and groups on campus to prepare the mural. Through engaging, hands-on activities, the art students learned about Franklin College’s history by delving into the undergraduate research previously prepared by Franklin College history students, which was conducted with the support of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Humanities for the Public Good initiative and the Community-Engaged Alliance (CEA) Faculty Fellows Grant. The artists also worked with others on campus to build the framework for the murals.

During the spring semester, additional art students will build upon the mural project. Randi Frye, assistant professor of art and chair of the art department, will guide the students as they begin to incorporate augmented reality components into the mural.

Black is the sixth visiting artist to visit Franklin College’s campus during Immersive Term, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Allen W. Clowes Foundation to establish the Clowes Visiting Artist Endowment Fund. The visiting artist program is a biennial program. Past artists to visit Franklin College include: Chris Sickels, a 3-D illustrator and stop-motion animator in 2022; Kimberly McNeelan, a woodworking expert in 2020; Stephen Cefalo, an American artist in 2018; Sayaka Ganz, a Japanese sculptor in 2016; and Artur Silva, a Brazil native in 2014.

About Black:

Black is an award-winning artist based in Indianapolis, specializing in collaborative and community-based projects. She has been creating murals and other large-scale public works since 2003, and was one of 24 Indianapolis artists selected for the NBA All-Star 2024’s “Hoosier Historia” arts program. Black earned her masters of fine arts in community art from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2013, and is now adjunct professor of art at Ivy Tech Community College and Arkansas Tech University. She is a founding member of TLC Art Collective, a group of artists concerned with environmental and social justice.

In 2021, Black began working with evacuees from Afghanistan at Camp Atterbury, shortly after they were forced to flee their home country. She provided arts programming as Afghans awaited resettlement, and together, they created a painted 20’x8’ mural titled August 15, in reference to the day the Taliban took control of Kabul. August 15 tells the story of how so many lives were forever changed that day. This mural has embarked on a traveling exhibition throughout North America; its next stop will be at Ivy Tech Community College’s Fall Creek campus in March 2024.

To learn more about Black, visit

Contact the Franklin College Office of Communications for more information at (317) 738-8185.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential liberal arts and sciences institution located 20 minutes south of Indianapolis. Franklin offers a wide array of undergraduate majors as well as master’s degree programs in Physician Assistant Studies and Athletic Training. The unique curriculum merges classroom instruction with immersive experiences, research opportunities and study away programs. Students participate in 21 NCAA Division III sports, esports, Greek life, musical and theatre productions and more than 40 student organizations. As the first college in Indiana to become coeducational with the admission of women, Franklin welcomes diversity of thought, belief and person into a community that values equity and inclusion. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit Find Franklin College on Facebook, follow @FranklinCollege on X (formerly known as Twitter) and watch FranklinCollegeGrizzlies on TikTok.