In 2013, ten students from both chemistry and engineering worked together to design and paint a chemistry-themed mural in the Graduate Student Lounge as part of ChemClub’s renovations of the space. This mural was created to illustrate how chemistry surrounds us in all aspects of our daily lives, and provides a non-traditional way to visualize and understand chemistry. The final design is the result of a highly collaborative process. Throughout the entire painting process we consulted with many members of the department, both students and faculty, to make this project as inclusive as possible so that the end result would be something that belonged to the entire department. Incorporated everywhere throughout the mural are general chemistry concepts as well as examples of leading-edge research going on within the Department of Chemistry. We purposely used low-contrast painting techniques so that from afar, most of the included chemistry is not readily apparent but as you look closer, you can see how chemistry is everywhere. This was meant to mimic the scientific process, through which much can be learned about a reaction, process, or substance by looking more closely, which is true even for things that have become part of our everyday lives. We have also incorporated several elements that are unique to the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario. After completion of the mural, we compiled a companion “About the Mural” book explaining every single chemistry concept or local feature that we painted into the mural. This book is available in the graduate lounge for viewing alongside the mural, or can be previewed here.

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The chemistry mural was painted by Laura Hoch, Laura Reyes, Jenny Wong, Brendon Seale, Mokit Chau, Joshua Ragetlie, Kiril Fedorov, Anjuli Szawiola, Kenny Chen, and Melanie Mastronardi.