UICA Exit Space Mural

The Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, or UICA, is West Michigan’s largest contemporary art center. The multi-use facility is devoted to the creative arts, with programs dedicated to visual arts, film, music and dance. One such program is the Exit Space Project (ESP), defined as:

A dynamic experiment carried out by contemporary artists who investigate ideas, images, and conversations within public space…With respect to the somewhat indefinable genres of street art and public art, all mediums are considered in mural formats, including paint, wheat pasted prints and posters, and 3D installations. Artists are welcome to explore the variety of concepts and complexities that is street art, and the idea of it as an art movement. We do not seek to define street art, but hope to showcase all that it is and can be. (https://www.uica.org/exit-space-project/).

When I heard about this exciting and unique program, I was eager to apply and have the opportunity to make a public piece of art. After being accepted as one of the four artists of 2018, I started to plan my mural.

The Exit Space is located in the UICA and only viewable from outdoors on Fulton Street. It features an 8 x 16 foot panel to work off of.


This piece provided a lot of physical challenges. It required me to work on scaffolding and ladders within a narrow space, making it difficult to take in the piece as a whole while working. I painted quickly over a three day period, with a color scheme in mind which developed into forms as I progressed.


The final piece was displayed from June 15th - August 15th. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the Exit Space Program, which encouraged me to continue seeking out different ways and challenges to create art.