Mural by U-M Stamps School of Art & Design alumni, students honors class of 2021

Mural by U-M Stamps School of Art & Design alumni, students honors class of 2021

The U-M commencement mural can be found on Washington St. between Fletcher and Thayer streets. Photo by Scott Soderberg/Michigan Photography.

U-M Stamps alumnae Liz Guilmet (left) and Yen Azzaro led the project. Photo by Natsume Ono/U-M Arts & Culture.

ANN ARBOR—To honor the University of Michigan Class of 2021, undergraduate students from the U-M Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design created a chalk paint mural on the street outside of the Rackham Graduate School. 

Located at 915 E. Washington St., between Thayer and Fletcher streets, the mural took nearly five hours to paint on Sunday, April 25. It is on view until May 2 as part of the university’s commencement celebrations. 

The mural is 18 x 400 ft. and includes several “flying” graduation caps set amongst white clouds, with a block M and words reading “Go Blue Class of 2021” at the center. 

The project was led by Stamps alumnae Yen Azzaro and Liz Guilmet, along with the Office of the President and the Office of University Development Events.

According to project collaborators, it was created to communicate feelings of appreciation, accomplishment and an unforgettable Michigan experience to the graduating class of 2021, the broader campus community and Ann Arbor city residents.

Azzaro, an artist and illustrator, said the work came together as part of a collaborative process involving students who assisted with mural design, installation or both. Students submitted design concepts to Azzaro and Guilmet, who worked together to parse out the most viable elements, translating the work into a final design schematic. 

The final design was digitally rendered into a grid and each section was led by a student who oversaw the materials, painting and team communications.

“Collaborating on this mural has been a testament to the talent and ingenuity of the students at Stamps,” Azzaro said. “Even during crunch time with finals nearing, students really stepped up to be team leads and offer a variety of concept possibilities.”

“This has been such a great project to work on with students during this time,” said Guilmet, who is also a faculty member at Stamps. “It was a way for them to come together, to collaborate and to celebrate safely after getting through this difficult year.”

Students involved in the Stamps mural project included Abigail Rankin, Alyssa Wilcome, Ashlee Freeman, Brianna Manzor, Coco DelVecchio, Emily Holtz, Erin Walski, Huanyuan Li, Isabella Kehoe, Jaymes Walker, Kyra Koprowski, Lee Hubbel, Madisyn Hicks, Michelle Ha, Natalie Guisinger, Nicole White, Riley Parrish, Saima Siddiqui, Samuel Turner, Sarah Dettling, Shivalika Kohli, Sophia Schwartz, Stephanie Li, Valerie Le, Violet Flores, Victor Garcia, XiaoYu Che, Yasmine Elhagehassan and Younji (Jinny) Jin.

Visitors to this outdoor mural are expected to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a face covering over the nose and mouth, per U-M COVID safety protocols.