A wall painted with brightly colored geometric shapes. Each shape has a unique color.

Even from Gibson Square Park outside, Odili Donald Odita’s new 13.5-by-27-foot mural “Surrounding” beckons visitors into the museum’s first-floor lobby. The work was installed in early-April 2022 by a team of three: Alan Prazniak, Conor Fields, and Jenna Pirello. Odita visited mid-installation to review progress and meet with the press. The commissioned mural is the first installation in the museum's ongoing public art series “Thresholds,” which features the work of Iowa-associated artists. 

The installation team began by transferring the design onto the wall, then masking off sections with removable tape before painting. Each shape was uniquely colored with hand-mixed acrylic latex wall paint. Once each shape was finished and the tape removed, the team performed touch ups and finished the mural with a coat of varnish. Angular geometric designs now dance across the expansive wall. Colors advance and recede as the viewer moves across, filling the lobby space with vibrant joy.

Acrylic latex wall paint on wall
162 x 324 in. (13.5 x 27 ft.)
Wall painting commission at the Stanley Museum of Art, University of Iowa, Iowa City
©Odili Donald Odita. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Odili Donald Odita

b. Engu, Nigeria in 1966; lives and works in Philadelphia, PA


All photos by Tim Schoon, University of Iowa