University Museums

Title: Untitled
Name: Mural
Date: 2017
Medium: UV Ink on Polymural Canvas, Nova Acrylic Paint, Speedball Acrylic Silk Screen Ink. Ronan Enamel, Gamblin Oil Paint, R&F Oil Pigment Stick, Precosia MC Chaton Rose Flat Back Black Diamond 20ss Rhinestones, Imitation Gold Leaf sealed with Zinsser Clear Shellac, Glitter (Black, Lavender), Liquitex Gloss Medium Varnish, Holbein Crystal Varnish, Crafters Pick “The Ultimate” Glue, Lucius Hudson Aluminum Strainers
Country/Culture: American
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Commissioned by the University Museums and the Department of Residence. An Iowa Art in State Buildings Project for the Department of Residence, Geoffroy Hall. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Location: Iowa State University, Geoffroy Hall
Object Number: U2017.399
More Information
Crafted with acrylic, rhinestones, and enamel, the vibrant interwoven patterns adorning Thomas’ art are inspired by her childhood in the 1970s. Grouped into five distinct, yet related interior scenes, Untitled is focused on the idea that the design of a space has a psychological effect on the viewer’s subconscious.

Each section of the mural can be interpreted individually by the viewer, based on their personal experiences and cultural backgrounds. This is especially important because the main audience is the students living in the residence hall who come from many different places in the world. Thomas carefully considered how the interiors depicted would relate to people from all walks of life. Additionally, the mirror-like surface allows the viewer to see themselves within the collage.

One of the main inspirations, to make an interior design mural into five components, is the artist’s consideration of the psychological effect of interior design on the viewer’s subconscious. The fact that students are coming from many different places in the world, Thomas carefully considered how the interiors depicted in the collage would relate to people from various, if not all, walks of life. The patterns, textures and other details found in the mural, are subtle indicators of which the entire student body can relate to.

The reflective, mirror-like surface also allows for open-ended responses, by allowing the students to see themselves in the work. It is well documented that interior spaces have an effect on our emotions and perceptions. The color one chooses for their walls, as well as the ways in which they arrange their furniture, impacts their subconscious. The symbolic cultural color meanings, combined with each interior layout, will be interpreted individually by each student, based on their personal experiences and cultural backgrounds.

Evan Harrison, an architecture student in the College of Design (class of 2018), served as an intern on the project working closely with the artist at her New York City studio and assisting with the installation of the mural upon its arrival at Iowa State University.