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MCHD’s Marion County WIC office unveils community-inspired mural

Jul. 6, 2023

MCHD’s Marion County WIC office unveils community-inspired mural

MORGANTOWN, WV (July 6, 2023) — The Marion County WIC office previously might have been difficult to spot, but that has changed now that it has been graced with a vibrant orange and green mural featuring a young couple, a baby being breastfed and a quilt.

“You really couldn’t tell what the building was if you were traveling from one side,” said Cami Haught, director of Monongalia County Health Departments Women, Infant and Children’s (WIC) program in Morgantown, of the Fairmont base of operations. “We wanted to let everybody know that WIC is there, and we thought a mural would be a cool way to advertise it.”

Haught reached out to Fairmont State University’s Department of Art and learned that awards had been raised and set aside specifically for public art projects that would enhance community spaces and compensate students for creating them while also providing them with experience.

“I established the initiative as a way to break down financial barriers and, in turn, it’s allowed students to have an internship-like experience as they design and execute public art pieces,” said assistant art professor Joel Dugan, chair of the Department of Architecture Art and Design.

As for the mural, “I’m excited how it came out,” Dugan added. “I hope we’re able to continue to develop projects like this using not only university students but also local high school students.”

Madi Knight, a senior fine arts major with a concentration in painting and illustration from Clarksburg, is leading the project. Knight, along with artists Holley Morrison and Bee Spevock, was actively involved in bringing the mural to life.

“We want this mural to represent community and support to families who use WIC, and bring some color to the space,” Knight said.

Knight's vision for the mural centers around a patchwork quilt and the theme of community, drawing inspiration from her upbringing in West Virginia. "The patchwork quilt really symbolizes family for me,” Knight said.

Inclusive and representative, the mural displays a diverse family, with a breastfeeding mother at its heart. Knight aims to create a warm and inviting environment for parents and children alike. “We want people to know that WIC supports everybody,” Knight said.

Monongalia County Health Department heads up MCHD WIC in six counties in the region: Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Harrison, Doddridge and Taylor. The federally-funded program provides nutrition counseling, nutritious food and breastfeeding support to pregnant and postpartum women and children up to the age of 5 who qualify.

Dugan, who has previously contributed to numerous art installations in the area, shared a personal connection to WIC. "As a young father, I had WIC as a provider for my family. The service is very valuable."

An advocate of public art and its transformative power, Dugan emphasized the importance of such projects. "We want to bring more public art projects into Marion County to enrich our community and create a sense of place for residents."

He added: “The mural is a great bold design, with lots of symbolism and color. It will really help create a sense of place for those who use WIC as a service.”

The WIC mural is one of three public art pieces Dugan and his students are working on this summer. Alongside the Marion County WIC office, the Kelly Miller Community Center and the Clarksburg Mission in Harrison County are also undergoing artistic transformations. “Creating these murals is a great way to bring beauty to our community,” Dugan said.

In recent years, public art has experienced a surge in popularity, transforming public spaces and attracting visitors and residents alike. “Public art and murals specifically are so good for the community,” Knight added. “It says, ‘You are welcome here. You are invited to experience our community.’ Without public art, most cities would feel like they are lacking something essential.”

By partnering with Fairmont State University and collaborating on the creation of the Marion County WIC office mural, WIC aims to raise awareness about its services and foster a community where every family has access to the support they need for optimal health and well-being.

“The students did a fantastic job of creating our WIC mural,” Haught said. “They were able to capture the important aspects of the WIC program in the design. I believe this will help others to know we are located in the building and it brings beautiful color to the building as well.”

For more information about MCHD WIC, call 304-598-5181 or check out





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