Marquette Mural: Our Roots Say That We’re Sisters

In September 2020 the Haggerty Museum of Art partnered with Marquette's Office of Diversity and Inclusion to convene a Marquette University Mural Committee comprised of students, faculty and staff. The Committee then invited seven local Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artists to submit proposals for a new mural to be installed on the north-facing facade of Marquette's Varsity Theater/Holthusen Hall building. This initiative was motivated by a proposal from Marquette University Student Government, and by a recommendation made by Marquette's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion following a cultural audit of campus spaces. After careful review, proposals by three artists were submitted for consideration to the Marquette community. All Marquette students, faculty, and staff were invited to cast online votes for one of the three proposals. Nearly 1,400 people voted, and artist Mauricio Ramirez's proposal Our Roots Say That We’re Sisters received 63% of the votes. Subsequent listening sessions with the artist and Marquette community members refined the collective vision for this project.

Listen to Podcasts Inspired by the Mural

Trailer

Current Episode

Listen to all of the available Our Roots podcasts here


Our Roots Say That We’re Sisters: An Image of Hope

Our Roos Say We're SistersWatch the video recording of Our Roots Say That We’re Sisters: An Image of Hope, a virtual conversation with artist Mauricio Ramirez and two of the inspirational women represented in the mural. 


 In Process Time-lapse Video

Time lapse video of Our Roos Say We're Sisters

Watch a time lapse-video of mural artist Mauricio Ramirez in the process of painting Our Roots Say That We're Sisters.

 


Community Paint Day

Marquette students help paint the mural "Our Roots Say That We're Sisters

We Are All Marquette: Campus community comes together for a ‘Paint Day’ to celebrate diversity, racial equity.

 


Our Roots Say That We’re Sisters. A poem by Sheena M. Carey

The artist observes and the community demurs:

            “Our roots say that we’re sisters.”

 

The artist affirms there is beauty to be seen.

            The community must offer space for the variety.

 

Different languages, different faiths, different artifacts, different skins.

Visages often unseen or unremarked upon.

Voices often stilled and silent.

            Our community encourages the blindness, the artist gives us eyes to see.

 

Have you seen her face?  Do you recognize her?

She is sitting at the desk next to or across from yours.

She is crossing the avenue on her way to a meeting.

She is dashing across campus on the way to her next exam.

She once shared the same residence hall or café as you.

 

The artist echoes there is a story to be heard.

            The community must amplify the multi-tonality.

           

Different struggles, different strivings, different hurts, different hopes.

Masked visages to hide the pain.

Muffled voices to stifle the cries.

            Our community demands the silence, the artist turns up the volume.

 

Have you heard her voice? Do you understand her?

Her story has not yet been told because no one has yet asked.

Her name resonates meaning for herself, her family, her culture.

Her voice rises with the song of a life lived fully, experiences to be shared.

Her story crosses borders, connects nations, and provides humanity’s throughline.

 

The artist paints a portrait of the human family.

            The community must grow strong in the diversity.

           

Different boundaries, different boldness, different experiences, different equities.

Beatific visages illuminating survival.

Beautiful voices singing existence.

            Our community obscures our origins, the artist exposes our roots.

           

The artist avers and the community concurs:

“Our roots say that we’re sisters.”