A new mural of the Cahaba River Wildlife Refuge in the Ferguson Student Center showcases one of the state’s most biodiverse and beautiful natural settings.
Local artist Caleb O’Connor, who recently sculpted the Minerva statue UA gifted to the residents of Tuscaloosa in celebration of the city’s bicentennial, created the 27-by-12-feet mural located in the Great Hall in the Ferg.
“The mural focuses on a section of the Cahaba River located in West Blocton in the Cahaba River Wildlife Refuge,” said O’Connor. “The river is depicted when the native Cahaba lily is in full bloom, between March and late June.”
O’Connor chose to depict the Cahaba not only for its beauty, but also for its connection to UA.
“The Cahaba River is one of the richest, most biodiverse rivers in the world,” said O’Connor. “Many UA students research the plentiful biodiversity offered in the river.
“My inspiration was promoting this beautiful natural setting; raising awareness that the Cahaba lily is endangered and needs to be protected; and spotlighting the plenitude of biodiversity that has evolved in the Cahaba.”
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.