‘Art for the Spirit’ mural installed in Pullman UCC church represents congregation’s core beliefs
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News Story by Puneet Bsanti
A mural dedication called Art for the Spirit, which represents the core, progressive values of the Community Congregational United Church of Christ in Pullman, will be celebrated Friday.
The mural was painted by local Pullman artist and Washington State University MFA student Sarah Barnett. Barnett became part of the project when CCUCC Outreach Coordinator Megan Guido reached out to her.
“They were interested in having an exterior artwork for their church. Something kind of peaceful and quiet and welcoming with words that the church upholds like equity, diversity, just positive words that the church really believes in,” Barnett said.
Guido said she had a vision for the mural when she started working at the church and saw the space outside of the church facing the parking lot.
“I thought, ‘wouldn’t that be neat to utilize the space in between the windows to display our values? As a church? What do we care about? What do we aspire to be?’ And then at the same time, thinking that we could support the arts in Pullman, which is something that I personally value and the church values,” she said.
The mural has five words painted on: faith, justice, progressive, inclusive and caring. Guido said these words represent the church’s values and what they stand for.
“There was a lot of discussion around [choosing the words] and it was important that we were very thoughtful about those five words. And so we discussed that as different committees, different members of the congregation and we felt good about the five that we landed on, because they really are representative of our values as a church,” she said.
Why They Included ‘Progressive’
Guido said the word that had the most discussion around it was “progressive.” She felt that it was an important word because they are a church that looks at the future on how to be more inclusive and accepting of people of different faiths and backgrounds.
“Inclusiveness, looking at how we interact with the world, our impact on the world, helping with social justice issues — not all churches embrace that or make it a value that we live by but it’s a big part of what we do as a congregation,” she said.
The project itself was over $10,000 with the design and installation. The church raised $10,795. It was funded by donors, and people from different parts of the country who used to be associated with the church also made contributions.
Guido said the feedback for the mural has been positive.
“Even members of the city council and dignitaries in the community, but just everyday folks who are saying, you know, thank you for putting that out there. Not only are you representing values that are important to me but you’re also supporting the arts community,” she said.
Guido said the goal for the mural is for it to be visible to people in Pullman. She said the congregation would like the church to eventually be part of the Pullman Art Walk where people can stop and look at the mural and learn about the building’s history.
The reception Friday will be from 5-6:30 p.m at the church, 525 NE Campus St.
“It’s a dedication, recognition of something special that we hope will last for a long time,” Guido said.