Carnival de Resistance Splashes Color onto EMU

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Junior Lauren Bykowski, Junior Chris Yoder, Senior Konrad Swartz, and Professor of Visual and Communication Arts Cyndi Gusler work on the mural on Cedarwood Second

The Carnival de Resistance has swept through Harrisonburg, and while the people that brought the wonderful and outlandish happenings may have moved their shenanigans to Charlottesville, they have not left without a trace (contrary to their Eco-friendly agenda).

The second floor of the Cedarwood dorm has been stylistically enhanced by one of the “Carnival Crew.” Dimitri Kadiev is a self-employed muralist who has been painting walls for decades.

Kadiev said, “I was seventeen skateboarding through Venice CA. when I saw the ‘Great Wall of LA,’ a 2,754 foot long mural of the people of Ca., and by that I mean all the people including the Native Americans and minorities.”

The Great Wall of LA was initiated by the SPARC program – Social and Public Art Resource Center which is an organization committed to “art for everyone regardless of their status in society…art without distinctions” according to the organization’s website.

This marked the beginning of Kadiev’s career as a muralist. He was inspired by the dedication of SPARC to bring art to all facets of society, and use it as a medium through which to inspire and share the stories of even the most disenfranchised people.

His travels and passion for art have taken him around the world, including orphanages in India and walls in Albuquerque, N.M. Kadiev stated, “There are walls everywhere. I wanted to have an art that travels, and traveling is a key ingredient in my relationship with God…I wanted to teach art.”

EMU students and Kadiev observe the application of a bird stencil.

EMU students and Kadiev observe the application of a bird stencil.

Kadiev expressed that he has come to a deeper understanding in his faith and place in the world through mural painting and teaching. “If I get an opportunity I go for it.”

He encourages people in any walk of life to pursue their passion, and spreads his goodwill and devotion to God and the teachings of Christ through his “life of active art and radically mobile living” (according the Carnival website).

EMU has been graced with a gift from this talented disciple on Cedarwood second. A colorful mural including a rainbow of shades, a soaring Quetzalcoatl, a figure with upraised arms, and a back-splash of bright inter playing colors, flowers, bugs and carefully crafted landscape now graces the main lounge.

Students were invited to watch and aid the artist as he worked, and the results are favorable.

Sophomore Meggan Garcia-Sheridan said, “If you want to know what I thought about the mural, then I would say I found it inspiring and uplifting. Every time I see it I am still amazed by its beauty and it always puts a smile on my face. And my favorite part is when it is evening, because then I can see its colorful awesomeness through the window lighting up the night.”

Kadiev discusses the mural with onlookers.

Kadiev discusses the mural with onlookers.

Sophomore Ana Cruz remarked, “I think it brings a lot of color to the second floor. I think it’s really neat that the students got to paint it themselves, adding their own creativity to it.”

Kadiev noted that he wanted to incorporate some images of mountains as well, to honor the natural landscape of the Shenandoah Valley.

The mural in Cedarwood serves as a reminder of the joyful, passionate and creative energy that inspired the vision for this “Holy Game.”

-Rehana Franklin, Staff Writer; photo credits, Colt Duttweiler


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