New tile mural in the works for International Art Center – and you can be involved!

( Graphic / )

Sarah Mountain

Chief Photographer

Troy University’s Department of Art and Design is creating a second mural to join the back of the International Arts Center (IAC). 

The mural, to be made up of two to three thousand individual porcelain tiles, will complement the current painting of the terracotta warriors on the back of the building facing the Cultural Arts Park. This will be the second phase of the Troy Mural Project.

Larry Percy, a professor in the college of art and design and the Troy University coordinator for the project said that the theme, “Nature of Home” will be inspired by members of the university community and beyond.

“The tiles will be fabricated by our [art] students and other student groups and people in the community,” he said. “Although we are also taking calls for entry online with submission from at least eight countries around the world.”

Percy said that the tile designs can include anything that demonstrates what home means to the artist, and the diversity in tile designs range from young children to experienced artists. The tiles themselves will be created by students in the art program.

“COVID has kind of interrupted our plans,” he added. “We wanted to involve all of our international students who are away from home, but this is kind of their home here.

“We don’t have as many international students this semester, so we’re really trying to reach out to students and graduates especially in our cooperating Chinese universities and have them send us their ideas.”

The theme “Nature of Home” is intended to encapsulate the multitude of definitions by contributors to the mural, according to Percy. When he discussed the project with his students, Percy said he saw a diverse response when he asked to define what home is to them. 

“It was just amazing to see all the different aspects,” Percy said. “Those [definitions] that are really tied to moods and feelings have to be shown through imagery and symbols.

“It’s going to be really interesting to see them problem solve and solve critical thinking problems like how to communicate feelings and figure out what feelings make them feel like they are home.”

The tiles will be organized by colors and designs to create a larger image that can be seen when standing in the Cultural Arts Park. Creation of the tiles will begin in February and is projected to be finished and installed by the end of this summer.

The mural will cover the blank concrete strip across the bottom of the building and Percy said that the geometric proportions of the building create a “perfect canvas” for the project.

“We kept thinking of using flowing imagery to create an abstract version of the flora in the park,” he said. “The more we thought about it, we decided to stick with the golden mean.

“Those perfect proportions led us to stick with that [design], so we wouldn’t contradict the imagery that is
already there.”

Submissions for tiles can be input online at and will include both a picture design and a piece of poetry in the form of a Fibonacci sequence. 

This project is funded in part by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, who stipulated that the project extend outside the university to a national and international community. Therefore, any interested parties are welcome to
send designs.

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