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Published: April 1, 2019 Author: George E. Mauzy Jr., Photos provided by Ohio University Printing Services

Staring at a wall is usually uninspiring, but not at Ohio University Zanesville. This winter, the campus decided to liven things up by installing seven large wall murals in two of its buildings.  

The murals, two in Herrold Hall and five in Elson Hall, are comprised of local images, famous quotes and inspirational phrases that add a visual impact to these spaces. The murals have symbols and messages that say things such as, “Glad you are here,” and they also have inspirational quotes from famous people like Mark Twain and Mahatma Gandhi.

The murals were ordered from Ohio University Printing Services and are printed on DreamScape Ravello wall wrap, a graphic material with a self-adhesive backing. The Printing Services prepress team of Chris Frogale and Mark Wunderlich prepped and installed the murals. On average, the murals measure about 52 inches high and 25 feet long.

The murals project was spearheaded by Holly Smith Voltz, Zanesville Campus coordinator of marketing and public relations.

“The wall murals display an engaging pattern and color scheme,” Smith Voltz said. “We have a lot of green space on campus and we made sure we incorporated that into the murals. By using pictures of our Zanesville students, we made the buildings a place for positive thinking and provided them with a good feel as they are studying. The murals also add a splash of excitement.”

Smith Voltz said the idea for change came to her as she walked the halls and realized that there were a lot of bulletin boards and outdated color schemes. She said this thought prompted her to think of ways to show everyone that the Zanesville Campus, despite its drab décor, was really a vibrant and exciting place to attend school.

“According to our feedback through word of mouth, focus groups and surveys, the feeling was that there had been no significant changes to our campus look in a long time,” Smith Voltz said. “That didn’t allow us to present ourselves as a forward-moving university. We wanted to do something that inspired students and inspired pride on campus.”

Smith Voltz said she had seen similar large wall murals in other places and thought that it would be a great way to create a lively atmosphere on campus. She also realized that it was faster and less expensive than conducting a major repainting or remodel job in the buildings.

“After I spoke with our dean, Dr. Jeremy Webster, he agreed that installing wall murals was a great idea,” Smith Voltz said. “I began talking to OHIO Printing Services and told them what I wanted to accomplish. We walked through campus with them and identified several key spots to place the murals.”

Smith Voltz said that despite having a limited budget, Printing Services worked with her.

“It was a good collaboration that worked well for everyone,” she said.

Blaine Gabriel, director of Printing Services, said that shortly after Smith Voltz was hired, he visited the Zanesville Campus to show her what services his shop offers. One of the things he brought with him was a small sample of a wall mural.

“That sample led to her vision for the wall murals project,” Gabriel said. “The Zanesville Campus project is a very nice looking piece and shows people just one of the many things we can do for them.”

Gabriel said his team has also installed DreamScape Ravello wraps in Athens at the Schoonover Center and the new IHOP restaurant. 

“It’s a great way to liven up a wall and create a conversation piece,” Gabriel said. “We have also done some smaller ones for parents who want murals of their kids playing sports. They don’t damage the surface of the wall and you can easily put them on and remove them.”

According to Scott Oancea, graphic designer at Printing Services, DreamScape Ravello is made of a thick 13 millimeter vinyl with a textured surface that has some built in advantages over other thin films on the market.

“It has an aggressive adhesive that is repositionable and reusable,” Oancea said. “It has been tested on painted and primed drywall, metal, glass, wood paneling and composite surfaces and will stick on most smooth clean surfaces.”

Smith Voltz said the wall murals project was a cost affordable way to show that the Zanesville Campus has changed some things.

“Everyone thinks they’re great,” Smith Voltz said. “They have really served the purpose they were created for and the students, faculty and staff love them. They create an atmosphere of engagement and positivity and show that we are a supportive campus.” 

Holly Smith Voltz

undefinedHolly Smith Voltz stands in front of one of the wall murals at the Ohio University Zanesville Campus. It was her idea to liven up the hallways with the wall murals from Printing Services.

Nursing mural

undefinedThe Ohio University Zanesville Nursing Department has a wall mural of its own. 

OUZ wall murals

undefinedThe DreamScape Ravello wall wrap can be installed on all types of walls, even curved ones.

Study area

undefinedThis Zanesville Campus study area features this inspirational wall to inspire the students.

Welcome sign

undefinedThis smaller wall mural welcomes everyone to the Zanesville Campus. 

Inspiration wall

undefinedAll of the Zanesville Campus wall murals were created to be friendly and inspirational to anyone who sees them.


undefinedThe wall murals include pictures of students and the beautiful Zanesville Campus.