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Be Bold. Be Elmhurst by Rafael Blanco & Andrew Sobel

Rafael Blanco
Spanish, b.
Be Bold. Be Elmhurst. 

Blanco and Sobol dreamed up a new mural as part of the school’s 150th-anniversary celebrations, which officially began last year. A sesquicentennial artwork was a natural idea to them, especially since Spanish-native Blanco has steered his art career more toward mural making, including a “Diversity in Technology” mural that was painted last year in downtown Aurora.

The artists also wanted the school’s students and staff to have a say in the final artwork. The majority of the more than 775 votes cast were in favor of the winning “Be Bold” mural design. The final face chosen was that of an Elmhurst University student, who has her face painted by another student. 

Elmhurst University, Faganell Hall

RAFAEL BLANCO Rafael Blanco is an Elmhurst University Art Assistant Professor of Art, and a professional muralist with extensive experience in creating large-scale public art. Originally from Spain, Blanco completed his MFA from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013. He worked as the Art Program Coordinator at Feather River College from 2014-2019 before starting at Elmhurst University. Blanco has painted site-specific artwork across the US, including the states of California, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, and Maryland. 

ANDREW SOBOL Andrew Sobol is an Elmhurst University assistant professor of art, and director of the graphic design program. He also is a Chicago-based creative director and designer with a professional background that includes more than 14 years of creative leadership in collective courage, branding, consumer packaging, print, digital and interactive design. Sobol has worked with large corporate entities, major Hollywood and independent film studios, governmental entities, and not-for-profits. 

Elmhurst Public Art Tour
  1. SkyCube by David Wallace Haskins
  2. Bird City Saint by Sentrock
  3. Curl by Tom Waldron
  4. Figure in the Garden by Abbott Pattison
  5. Art from the Heart by John Nester
  6. You Are Beautiful by Matthew Hoffman
  7. Sistine Touch by Bob Emser
  8. Once Upon a Time by Frank Eliscu
  9. Eric Carle Collection
  10. Crashing Waves by Eleanor King Hookham
  11. Be Bold. Be Elmhurst by Rafael Blanco & Andrew Sobel
  12. There Was A Vision by George Melville Smith
  13. Elmhurst University Art Collection, A.C. Buehler Library
  14. Bicentennial Fountain
  15. Millennium Fountain
  16. Portal by Nicole Beck
  17. Steel Globe by Poblocki Sign Company
  18. Color Rain