DCCC students, Dominican painters create Thomasville mural

Oct. 31, 2012 @ 02:45 PM

A building in Thomasville's historic downtown district now exhibits an enormous mural, part of a joint project by Duke University and Davidson County Community College.

The mural is an installment of the "Stories through Murals" process which began in Durham two years ago and is championed by LeAnne Disla, with the Duke University Center for International Society.

"This project has brought a group of the best portrait painters in the Dominican Republic together with students from DCCC," Disla said of the mural that can now be seen as commuters pass by the location at 305 Randolph St.

The idea is to incorporate local community within the process, in this case using public space to bring art to residents of Davidson County.

Students from Suzanne LaVenture's cultural studies program at DCCC and community volunteers were participating Thursday in helping artist Hector Blanco and six additional painters from the Dominican complete the masterpiece. Donnell Griffin, an instructor at DCCC, was responsible for a screening process to determine students who would be best suited for the project.

"We all bring different skills," Blanco said through Disla, who translated. "We've done hundreds of these murals and work together very well as a team."

The program — entitled "Stories through Murals: From the Dominican Republic to North Carolina, exploring the past, present and future" — came about in 2010 and 2011, when the Consortium in Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University brought a group of Durham public school teachers and community college faculty on a study tour to the Dominican Republic. Teachers and students were introduced to Blanco, who showed them what goes into creating a mural.

Since that time, Blanco and his fellow painters have toured around the state and are able to turn out murals expediently, as indicated by the work accomplished in Thomasville in less than a week.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.