HomeCampus LifePeak Adventures: Art Mural at the Challenge Center

Peak Adventures: Art Mural at the Challenge Center

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A brand new art mural is in the works at the Peak Adventures Challenge Center.

Peak Adventures, a program of ASI, offers a Challenge Center on campus. Students can gain team building, leadership development, and communication skills.  The new art mural was an idea that came about nearly two years ago during an annual beautification day, where staff spent the day sprucing up the Challenge Center.  At this time Jael Young, Director of Peak Adventures, noticed the wall with a fresh pair of eyes and began to envision how the space could be utilized.

Young reached out to Professor Ian Harvey of the Art Department for assistance. Professor Harvey searched meticulously for dedicated and enthusiastic students that would be willing to put in the time and effort. He was able to find eight students who were excited to help out. When it came down to start time, three art students came forward to craft ideas for the new mural.

Artists Marina Sterner and Hollie Trudeau have been working meticulously to create a beautiful work of art.

Sterner and Trudeau will contribute to a long-lasting legacy on the Sacramento State Campus, as the Challenge Center serves 5,000-7,000 students annually.


The project was a huge commitment, and went through several design stages. The blueprints began with a storyboard. This storyboard showcased different images which were reminiscent of Sac State and the Challenge Center. The artists then created a mock-up of the design on a plank using sketch form. A projector was used to display the design on the wall to scale, as the artists traced the projection with sharpie pens. Finally, it was time to apply the paint. The team chose to use a diverse array of vibrant colors. Deep hues like purples and blues were used in combination with the Peak Adventures earth toned logo colors, to create dimensions in the crevices and to really open up the space.

The project began to as an aesthetic addition to the space to engage students while at the Challenge Center, but as it developed, the mural took on a deeper dimension. Visual symbolism began to serve as a vessel to illustrate primes of creative and experimental problem solving, innovative out-of-the-box thinking, and the ambiguity of foreign adventures for students visiting the Ropes Course.

Themes of team building, adventure, and diversity will be manifested on the mural to inspire courage, bravery, and cooperation.

Art is an esoteric, and highly personal experience. The way that we perceive art is subjective to the individual and open to multiple interpretations. Art has a unique way of transcending our emotions and breaching our subconscious by reaching us in powerful ways that can move us, inspire us, and teach us. The hope of Director Jael Young is for the art mural is to open up people’s place of wonder and creativity.

Artist and project manager Marina Sterner graduated last spring from Sac State with a BA in Art. She also has obtained Associates degrees in Graphic Communication and Business at Sacramento City College. Marina works primarily with acrylic, oil, water-color paints, and ink as mediums. However, she also enjoys working with digital and video art. Her career goal is to obtain a management position in the art field. The project was a great experience for her to practice her skills.

Upon reflection of her inspiration behind the mural, artist Sterger discusses: 

The imagery is partially representative, showing people in the various activities they’ll experience as participants. The people are somewhat obscured. This was done so that participants can connect, to the figures/activities, on an individual level without associations to any particular gender or race. Also, included is some abstraction and patterning in the background, meant to be reminiscent of natural forms. The abstractions enable viewers to be imaginative in their personal perceptions and interpretations of the mural. The hope is that people can both picture themselves as the figures and create space for personal context, therefore enhancing the overall experience at the Challenge Center.


Come out to the Challenge Center this summer to check out the progress so far on the new art mural! The Challenge Center Course is located between the soccer fields and Yosemite Hall.