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UofM mural class brings “HOPE” to Juvenile Court

As part of a semester-long project under UofM Art Instructor Terry Lynn, eight students designed and painted a collaborative mural at the Shelby County Juvenile Court this past fall semester.
“As part of a Mural and Public Art class I taught last semester, my students worked alongside detention center youth and incorporated sketches and quotes that evoke hope, which is also what they titled the piece,” Lynn said.
Lynn, who has taught a variety of course in his three years as an instructor at The University of Memphis including painting, drawing, printmaking and foundations; has also served as a recurring mentor with the youth of the Shelby County Detention Center for seven years through speaking appearances and art projects.
“Collaborating with the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center was one of the things that was on my mind throughout the whole class,” Lynn said. “I’m glad we got an opportunity to do it.”
Lynn worked alongside his class of eight students over the course of a semester to plan out the defining elements of the mural before putting the finishing touches on the piece in November. Other aspects of Lynn’s Mural and Public Art course included group discussions on pressing social topics and a viewing of the documentary film “13th” by Ava DuVernay.
“We spent a lot of time brainstorming and talking about issues from their [the students’] perspective before really diving into the working theme of the mural and, as a small group, we were really able to hone in and plan this mural effectively,” said Lynn. “When the semester started, I gave them the task of looking at the criminal justice system as a social issue. Something they could learn something about while simultaneously expressing an artistic response.”
Published inCollege of Communication and Fine ArtsDepartment of ArtNew DevelopmentsUniversity of Memphis

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