Are You Looking? or Are You Seeing? 2016 Turkey

Bakiyor Musun? Goruyor Musun?/ Are You Looking? or Are You Seeing?


Are You Looking or Are You Seeing?

International Community Mural Arts Program

Mixed media mural designed and created by Laurel True with art students at Gazi University: Ersin Gucenme, Ozan Eroglu, Hasan Can Atasoy, Ozu Koc, Melike Kucuk, Nurcan Gulec, Duygu Pecksen and Huesyin Topcu.



Fine Art Department
Gazi University, Golbasi Campus
Tunus Caddesi No:35, Kavaklidere 06680
Ankara, Turkey

I was honored to be selected by the US Department of State and Meridian International Center to facilitate two community-based public art projects in Turkey, as part of their International Community Mural Arts Program, through which artists act as cultural ambassadors to help promote peace and understanding through socially engaged public art creation.

 The US Embassy and Meridian International arranged a partnership with the Art Faculty at Gazi University in Ankara, who coordinated for me to work with a group of 8 art students in their early 20s on a mural for the front of the Art Faculty building.

The design for Bakiyor Musun? Goruyor Musun? (Are You Looking (or) Are You Seeing) was based on conversations with project participants about the importance of seeing deeper on both a personal and a global level.

The mural explores shifting perspectives communicated through the dualities of dark and light and geometric and organic forms. The left side of the L-shaped mural reflects a nightscape with more pointed, linear forms while the right side includes a dayscape with flowing organic lines and softer, more colorful kaleidoscopic forms. The use of mirror in the mural further enhances the concept of self-reflection and perspective.

I found my students to be incredibly activated, motivated, creative and thoughtful, and I enjoyed every minute of our time working together. They brought fresh ideas, perspectives and initiative to the table and participated throughout in conversations about the importance of not just looking, but seeing.