Stepping out of the comfort zone and into creative power

My name is Alejandra Monge. I’m a senior who is double majoring in anthropology and visual art.

During the fall semester, I reached out to the Center for Social Justice and Community Impact and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life regarding creating a mural in The Base, the basement of Cole Memorial Chapel, where the offices are located.

I wanted to create artwork to reflect the principles of both centers. I also wanted to use the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and showcase my work.

I’m not one to make my art public by posting on social media or even just showing something I made to a friend. Admittedly, this is because I feel vulnerable and I’m afraid of judgment. My art is very personal because it represents who I am.

I believe that reaching out to collaborate with those in The Base has helped me grow as an artist and learn about my strengths and weaknesses.

The Base is a special place on campus that encourages positive change, inclusivity and community. These values mirror my own and align with my character. Art is a form of power. This mural not only serves to represent the values of The Base but also provides a point of reflection and reminder of its mission. 

After working through various rough drafts, I designed imagery that captures what The Base embodies: equity, intersectionality, agency and community responsibility.

This collaboration has allowed me to use that power to invoke the positive changes I want to see in our community. Throughout this processI have learned a lot about myself, where I want to take my creativity, and how to be comfortable with sharing my work. (Photos by Keith Nordstrom)