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Cal Poly to Debut ‘Generosity’ Painting Sept. 30

Artist Oscar Pearson works on the "Generosity" mural in Via Carta Plaza at Cal Poly.

“Generosity,” Cal Poly’s first commissioned outdoor mural, will be debuted with an on-campus artist’s talk and ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Sept. 30. All community members are welcome to both events.

The mural, located in the newly renovated Via Carta Plaza adjacent to Campus Market, was painted by Central Coast-based artist Oscar Pearson. He will host a talk at 11:30 a.m. in Room No. 0001 in the Advanced Technology Laboratories Building (No. 7). Following the talk, the ribbon-cutting will take place at 12:10 p.m. near the Campus Market on Via Carta.

The Cal Poly Corporation commissioned the mural after a detailed proposal process that included a selection committee comprised of students, faculty, staff and a community member. The mural is a part of an effort to beautify, inspire and grow a campus art collection.

Initially a divided triptych wall, the vibrant mural encourages community interaction through colorful artwork. The mural is located at the Food Processing Building (No. 24) on the intersection of Highland Dr. and Via Carta.

Focusing on several themes, “Generosity” recognizes the valuable contributions of farm laborers on the Central Coast along with Cal Poly students’ work in agriculture in a triptych fashion. The central panel celebrates the bountiful Central Coast agriculture. The left panel showcases the life of farm laborers figuratively, showing an unnoticed side of their essential work that helps Central Coast agriculture flourish.

The panel depicts the workers’ car and lunch cooler, which indicates the communal experiences of daily work and serves as a visual tribute to generosity while the workers are not present. The invisible workers form a visual metaphor, reflecting how their contributions to agriculture often go unrecognized, even though they play a vital role in maintaining food systems.

The right panel highlights Cal Poly’s hands-on curriculum, with Pearson emphasizing his interpretation of the Learn by Doing ethos. The artwork illustrates livestock, animal husbandry and rodeo, referencing the university’s history with the activity since 1939. The inspiration behind this panel was historic photographs found in Kennedy Library’s University Archives.

As a part of the university’s permanent collection, the mural will operate as a resource to support teaching and scholarly activities and enhance the cultural life and beauty of the university. Through acquisition, display and preservation, the collection benefits the Cal Poly community as well as the community of the Central Coast.

Parking is available for the events in lot H2, located at Highland and University drives. Visitors should park in metered spaces and use the ParkMobile App for hourly parking. General parking permits are available to purchase at parking pay stations for lot H12. For more parking information, visit the Transportation and Parking Services website.