News Service


Marilyn Vaughn, University Museums, (515) 294-3342
Joan Mueller, Parks Library, (515) 294-4716
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720.


AMES, Iowa -- "Unlimited Possibilities," an immense mural commissioned last year by Iowa State University, will be installed on the second floor of ISU's Parks Library Friday, Jan. 2, through Friday, Jan. 9.

"Unlimited Possibilities," which was designed by nationally known artist and Iowa native Doug Shelton, is a three-panel, 22- by 20- foot oil painting. The mural depicts a diverse group of students using knowledge obtained at Iowa State. The mural also contains many tornado images -- a visual play on the Cyclone moniker for ISU athletic teams.

The mural will surround the grand doorway that serves as the main entrance to thepPeriodical room on the library's second floor. The area is near the famous Grant Wood murals that were created during the Great Depression. The Wood murals depict Iowa State's early history as a land-grant university. The new mural reflects a vision of Iowa State's future

"My main objective was to describe ISU as a very exciting place to be and one with an interesting future," Shelton said. "The mural reflects an optimistic view of the future. It shows the exploration happening in the areas of science and technology at Iowa State."

The university commissioned the mural -- the brainchild of Lynette Pohlman, director of University Museums -- for the state's sesquicentennial year in 1996. The mural will be the center of a public celebration scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 22, in Parks Library. The event coincides with ISU Founder's Day, the 140th anniversary of the university's founding in 1858.

"The ISU library is honored to be the location for this sesquicentennial mural," said Olivia Madison, interim dean of Parks Library. "It continues ISU's tradition of significant art portraying university life."

Shelton, who grew up in Des Moines and now lives in Tucson, Ariz., will be at Iowa State to oversee the installation and touch up the mural. He led a crew of two Iowa State faculty members and nine students in painting the mural at ISU's Brunnier Art Museum for three months during late 1996.

"It was an opportunity to paint in the same tradition as Grant Wood, as he also had students involved in the process," said Dean Biechler, one of the students who worked on the mural. "Shelton's mural represents the present and projects into the future, much like Wood's murals did. It was wonderful to work on a project of that size with so many artists. We had to match and blend styles to make it a unified piece."

To celebrate the mural's completion, University Museums is sponsoring a number of events during the spring semester, including the Cyclone Mural Contest scheduled for the month of February. The ISU student who identifies the most tornadoes in the mural will win an all-expenses paid spring break vacation for two.

"We want students to participate in celebrating the mural's installation and to take the time to look at it and appreciate its optimistic message," Pohlman said.


NOTE TO MEDIA: Media are welcome to come to the installation of Iowa State's new mural. It is suggested that media contact one of the following people to make arrangement to visit: Joan Mueller, Parks Library, (515) 294-4716; Marilyn Vaughn, University Museums, (515) 294-3342; or Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294- 3720.

Iowa State homepage

University Relations,
Copyright © 1997, Iowa State University, all rights reserved
Revised 12/30/97