The Office of Military and Veteran Services (OVMS) will display a mural made entirely of student-submitted photos in the Milo Bail Student Center by the end of the semester.
OMVS outreach coordinator Kristen Lewis said the office set a goal to collect 250 photos from the University of Nebraska at Omaha community to use as inspiration for the mural but quickly surpassed their goal with 293 submissions.
“The reason OMVS decided to fill the mural with personalized photos from our students is because no two people have an identical experience, whether in training, deployment, hardships, losses or celebrations,” Lewis said. “Each student is unique; each contribution tells a different story and each story either begins or continues here at UNO.”
Students could submit their photos via email, an online dropbox or in person at the OMVS office.
The only condition was that the photos must be family-friendly and feature an armed service member in uniform.
Raechel Meyer, senior graphic designer with UNO Student Affairs and Enrollment Management will be the main artist to process and transfer all of the student-submitted photos, according to Lewis. The mural will be displayed on the large wall near the OMVS office and the traveler’s lounge in the student center. It is projected to be completed by the end of April.
“Art tells a story but is also open to interpretation, which allows you to make the story your own,” Lewis said.
“With a campus rich with diversity, art allows for a deeper level of connection, initiates new conversations and understandings and demonstrates the bond all Mavericks share.”
Other murals have been proposed as new additions on campus in the coming months, adding an element of expression and color to the day-to-day Maverick schedule. The OMVS mural project, however, is called the Make Your Space Project, in hopes to remind service men and women that this area of the student center is dedicated to them.
“They say a picture is worth a thousand words,” Lewis said. “By creating this project, we share not just photos, but 293,000 words that convey our students’ stories, ranging from how they came to attend UNO, to their experiences at UNO, and where their UNO education took them. This project honors both past and present military students as well as welcomes those to come.”