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Thurgood Marshall mural painted by Morgan art student installed

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Courtesy of Alexandria Wingate
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The life and legacy Thurgood Marshall lives on in the new residence hall thanks to Alexandria Wingate, a senior fine arts major who curated a mural in his memory.

Ariyana Griffin, Contributing Writer with The MSU Spokesman

Alexandria Wingate, a senior fine arts major, wondered throughout her matriculation at Morgan State University how she would leave her mark on campus.

She answered that this semester when her mural was installed in the newly remodeled Thurgood Marshall Residence Hall.

The blue-toned, two-story mural captures Thurgood Marshall at three different points of his life and career.

After researching the life and legacy of Marshall, Wingate decided to use multiple images to create a compact and powerful image, which is displayed.

From start to finish, the entire project has been over the span of a year and a half. The mural has yet to be officially unveiled, however it was recently installed in the residence hall.

“She didn’t just sit down, start sketching and paint a picture. It was a full semester of research and development, another full semester of making the painting,” said Blaise DePaolo, visual arts professor who was also a part of the design team for the mural.

Wingate also worked alongside historian Larry Gibson, who helped her understand the life and legacy of Marshall through research, books and photographs.

Wingate is thankful and excited about this opportunity to leave her mark on Morgan’s campus in such a historical way.

“I always thought, will I make it as an artist? Will I ever be successful? But this opportunity I was given is such a milestone for anybody. Especially somebody who’s like me who is early in their career,” said Wingate.

She is happy that she created something that she can reflect on and will last a lifetime for her future generations to see.

The original oil painting is on a 30-inch by 20-inch canvas; the canvas was then professionally photographed and printed, to create a large mural that students can view in the residence hall.

“Technology is now so good that you can take a small oil painting and you can take a picture of that, and you can blow that picture up such that it could be as big as it is in the residence hall,” said DePaolo.

She hopes students realize that the mural was curated by one of their peers and is motivated to work towards their dreams.

“I feel like it [the mural] can be viewed as an empowering mural for someone who did such a good thing with their life. And, to look at that when you leave the elevator and go to your classes is good,” said Madison Blackwell, a freshman business administration major.

Like DePaolo, Wingate is ecstatic about the mural being displayed and she wants to remind students to keep working hard.

“Still gotta keep on working no matter what, as long as you stay consistent the more opportunities you’ll basically get,” Wingate said.