The people behind the wall (art) at MCC-Penn Valley
June 18, 2021
By Tim Engle
This new wall art is just inside the main doors of the MCC-Penn Valley Education Center.
MCC grad Daniel Garcia-Roman created this painting to mark the 50th anniversary of the Penn Valley campus in 2019-20. It served as inspiration for the mural.
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic in May featured first lady Jill Biden as well as the new artwork (at right).
First lady Jill Biden was the main attraction May 27 at MCC-Penn Valley, but a new Metropolitan Community College mural made its public debut that afternoon, too.
The back story: Penn Valley (along with the Longview and Maple Woods campuses) was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019-20. In the months before the COVID-19 outbreak, a Penn Valley committee commissioned a painting by recent alumnus Daniel Garcia-Roman. The plan was that his artwork would be displayed at a jazz-themed scholarship fundraiser and possibly other events … in the spring of 2020. You know how that turned out.
Garcia-Roman says he completed the squarish acrylic painting that May. For more than a year, the campuses were largely empty. Meanwhile, an image of Garcia-Roman’s painted-by-hand piece made its way to graphic design coordinator Spencer Chapin in MCC Marketing & Communications. Chapin’s assignment was to use the work as inspiration for a much-larger piece of vinyl wall art (about 19 feet wide by 7.5 feet high) near the main doors of PV’s Education Center and across the hall from EC 019, the large meeting space.
As for the original painting, Penn Valley president Tyjaun Lee says it will be displayed in the Teaching and Learning Center space on the fifth floor of Campus Center.
Back in 2018, by the way, Lee asked Garcia-Roman to create a painting for MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty. Lee and the student artist presented his "Faces of MCC" artwork to the chancellor onstage at her inauguration that August.
Garcia-Roman, a 2019 MCC grad, just completed his bachelor’s in studio art at UMKC and will start work on a master’s degree in education there this fall.