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Frostburg Library Featuring Life-Sized Art Designed By FSU Student
04/25/2016

Frostburg Library Featuring Life-Sized Art Designed By FSU Student

Learning to work outside of your comfort zone is one thing, but Frostburg State University Fine Arts major Shea Crumbley figured out how to excel outside of hers.

The FSU senior’s preferred medium is printmaking and linocuts, which typically fit in a standard frame. This academic year she was tasked with digitally illustrating seven large panels to serve as murals on the Frostburg Public Library’s facade at 65 E. Main St. That meant adding more detail since the pieces would be magnified to a size where viewers could appreciate each inch of the approximately eight-foot-tall panels.

“I would get to the point where I would be done, but then I could zoom in more and more and keeping adding things to this,” Crumbley said during the unveiling of her art on Saturday, April 23. “I ended up really struggling to know when to stop.”

Crumbley hand illustrated sketches on paper, scanned them into Adobe Photoshop and used a digital tablet to add more detail and colorize the art. The art was then printed on a special heat-applied material to adhere to the brick wall.

“I had really, really big Photoshop files that would crash my computer over and over and over again,” she said, laughing. Crumbley also took a photo of the library to use as a reference to perfect the arrangement and size of her pieces.

The panels feature different genres of writing, inspired by literature. The panels feature a boy and his service dog, a knight in battle, a zoo worker with animals, a charming couple from a romance novel, a girl with a pet dragon and fairies, a female scientist in a laboratory and another with a crime detective. They will be displayed on the library wall for at least the next two years.

John Taube, director of the Allegany County Library System, is pleased with Crumbley’s work.

“When we talked to Shea earlier, we wanted to have something that helped the library as well as exemplify the great work that she does. I think that these murals really hit our goal of encouraging reading because they have seven different styles of writing and seven different types of adventure,” Taube said. “We wanted something to appeal to all kinds of different people.”

Crumbley’s project taught her to how to focus on a client’s wishes, she said. Her original concept was to personify different eras in history. It then shifted to a literary theme, but she couldn’t draw famous characters to avoid copyright issues, so she had to come up with original images.

Crumbley credits FSU Assistant Professor Jamison Odone for showing her the skills needed to illustrate digitally, work with a client and design life-size pieces.

“He really helped me how to work with a client, how to do something with somebody else’s thoughts, which I would not have figured out on my own,” she said. “He’s really good about giving you the right kind of resources.”

Odone is proud of the progress Crumbley has shown in four years at FSU.

“I’ve had Shea in my classes for the past four years and you epitomize growth,” Odone told Crumbley in front of a crowd during the unveiling. “You’re good to the point where they give you the sides of buildings.”

The library pieces are the third in a series of a downtown public arts project Odone arranged with FSU, the city of Frostburg and FrostburgFirst – the city’s Main Street Maryland program. The other student projects included a mural by Parris Ashley at 19 S. Broadway unveiled in October and illustrated robots founded on businesses on Main Street by Eric Groff, which were unveiled in December.

Frostburg Mayor Robert W. Robert Flanigan praised the partnership to beautify the town.

“This, to me, is another great example of the partnership we have with Frostburg State. We’ve got a lot of neat things in town, and we have them because of having the University and having people like Shea, who is very, very talented, and Jamison, who is a great instructor,” Flanigan said. “It makes the mayor of Frostburg proud to know that you want our community to look good and be an educational mecca.”

Crumbley, a native of Keller, Texas, who resides in Cumberland, will graduate in the spring. She plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching at FSU to become certified to teach in secondary schools.

For more information, contact the FSU Department of Visual Arts at 301-687-4797.

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For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu