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Four scenes of Joseph

Student artist transforms O’Donnell Hall chapel


College of Communication sophomore Tim Gorichanaz didn’t know that leaving his door open at O’Donnell Hall would lead to the biggest painting assignment of his life.

On a routine visit to Gorichanaz’s floor, then-O’Donnell Hall minister Ben Shryock stopped to chat, saw Gorichanaz painting a still-life scene and asked him to paint a mural in the hall chapel.

Gorichanaz chose to depict the story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis. “It represents brotherhood, which fits perfectly with O’Donnell being the only all-male dorm,” he says. “It’s a story of betrayal, forgiveness and the whole cycle of the human persona.”  

After reading the Bible story several times, Gorichanaz sketched four scenes and drew them on the four chapel walls. He painted the mural in his spare time, usually late at night after completing homework for six classes. Friends visited while he worked, keeping him company and providing encouragement.

He finished at 4 a.m. one day during spring semester finals, after staying up all night to paint the final brush strokes because he was so excited. “It was a long process, and it was great to see it all come together in the end,” says Gorichanaz, who had no idea where the chapel was located before painting the mural. He hopes his artwork attracts more people to the chapel, which is on O’Donnell’s lower level.

“I’d never painted anything on such a large scale before, so it was a great opportunity for me,” he says. He continues to paint and plans to focus his talents on a career in advertising. LS

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