By Janessa Mcneil
How better to teach children about the importance of fire safety than with pictures?
Forty students from the UVU Art and Visual Communications department created a mural at Orem Fire Station No. 3. They donated their time and artistic skills to a great cause for the community.
At the end of spring semester, Casey Vorwaller, Orem City Fire Inspector, asked if UVU students could help make a fire safety mural. Several students submitted possible designs for a wall-sized mural. Out of the many ideas submitted, senior Virginia Tilby’s sketch was chosen.
In the fall, Don Seegmiller, coordinator of the Illustration Area in the Art and Visual Communications department, asked students if they wanted to participate. About 40 students volunteered for the task.
Once Tilby’s design was blown up onto the wall, it took two evenings for these students to bring the sketch to life. Twenty students helped each night to paint the mural with no monetary benefits behind it except pizza, given to them by the fire department.
“Anybody could come,” Seegmiller said. “Everybody wanted to help when they got there.”
It was mostly illustration students who were giving their time and talents for the fire department, but many brought their spouses.
“This mural has given me a huge sense of accomplishment,” Tilby said. “I feel much more confident in myself as an artist after this project, especially now that it’s done and it looks so incredible thanks to everyone’s help.”
Olivia McLaughlin, one of the art students who helped paint the mural, felt the mural was important for kids and was excited to take the project on.
“You don’t see this kind of thing done very often, and it feels good to help kids,” said McLaughlin. “I wish they had something like this when I was a kid . . . I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
Long hours and no pay would usually frustrate anyone, but this project was a worthwhile reminder of the difference that can be made by reaching out to the community.
If you want to go see the mural for yourself, the fire station is open to the public and located at 255 N. 1200 West in Orem.