Alloyius McIlwaine has painted murals in Paris, Madrid, Casablanca, Miami, and New Orleans. He can now add Neumann University to his list.
A 2004 graduate of Neumann, McIlwaine shared his talent with his alma mater from March 12-14 by creating an enormous, four-part mural in the hallway of the John J. Mullen Communication Center, a high-tech studio complex that opened in the fall of 2016.
The mural – entitled “Canticle of the Creatures” – includes segments that represent the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.
One large figure dominates each section:
- The sun is prominent in the fire segment, filled with bright yellows.
- A knight is central to a blue-themed water portion (Neumann’s sports teams are the Knights).
- St. Francis is the focus of the earth segment, awash in browns and golds (the university was founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia).
- Students fill the air section in front of blue skies and bright, white clouds.
McIlwaine painted for more than eight hours each day in order to finish on Neumann’s Charter Day, the annual celebration of the signing of the university charter in 1965.
Students walking to and from class described the mural as “beautiful,” “unique,” “amazing,” and “awesome.”
The artist expressed appreciation for the university’s invitation to paint a mural on campus.
“It’s an absolute honor to have my artwork here,” McIlwaine said. “This place meant a lot to my development as a person, and when your school appreciates what you’re doing enough to invite you to do something permanent on the wall here, it means a lot.”
“We are very proud of Alloyius and extremely grateful that he was willing to share his artistic talent with the campus community,” said Dr. Chris Domes, Neumann’s president. “His work embodies our values, and his success is a model of innovation for our students.”
McIlwaine, a self-taught artist, has created 87 murals worldwide, and has a European trip scheduled for June 2018 with stops in Dublin, London, and Amsterdam. His style is abstract and colorful, and he incorporates aspects of graffiti, street art, comic-book art, and traditional art into his murals and paintings.
Fascinated by art since his childhood, McIlwaine put his talent to good use when he enrolled at Neumann in the fall of 2000. He began to develop sketches of his art on clothing, creating and selling hand-painted, customized t-shirt designs. What started as a way for a gifted business major to make some extra money in college soon blossomed into a professional career.
Click here to see samples of Alloyius McIlwaine’s art.