Mural connects soil, oceans, planetary health

A new two-part art installation in Mann Library, created by Viola Yu ’18, celebrates the connections among soil, oceans and the health of the planet in paintings and a mural.

Yu, a natural resources major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, completed the paintings – abstract art representing terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and depictions of animals and human faces – as the capstone project for her minor in horticulture with a focus in the botanical arts.

“The goal is to show how beautiful underground and underwater can be, and then to show the diversity of the world and why we should save it,” Yu said.

Yu’s paintings can be found in on panels in a computer lab in Mann’s basement and a mural in a corridor leading from the computer lab doors to a stairway.

“We wanted to give this highly trafficked area a welcoming feel and let people know it is an intentional space,” said Eveline Ferretti, Mann’s public programs and outreach administrator.

Ferretti asked Marcia Eames-Sheavly, senior lecturer and senior extension associate in the School of Integrative Plant Science, if she could recommend a student who might be interested. Eames-Sheavly reached out to Yu, who had taken her Art and Horticulture class and is one of her students in botanical illustration.

“If a student is doing something like this for individual study, I always emphasize: What are you learning?” Eames-Sheavly said. “When Viola showed me the pieces on the wall, I have to tell you I was blown away.”

Mann Library celebrates the opening of Yu’s paintings with a reception, free and open to the public, Tuesday May 8, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in B30 Mann.

- Melanie Lefkowitz

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz