Journey to a New Beginning - CODAworx

Journey to a New Beginning

Submitted by Jenie Gao Studio

Client: Trinity Lutheran Church

Location: Madison, WI, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $25,000

Project Team


Jenie Gao

Jenie Gao Studio LLC


Pastor Susan Schneider

Trinity Lutheran Church


The mural embodies Trinity’s mission to be welcoming, progressive, and socially active in the community. The design to incorporate the role of the choir and music at the church, a sense of the pilgrimage and of home. It blurs the lines of what we consider pilgrimage and migration. It was produced in multiple panels of polytab, a durable mural fabric. We applied a substrate to smooth out the existing EIFS (stucco) wall in order to install the final panels seamlessly, as though they were painted directly on the building.


The mural serves as a community landmark and signal to Atwood neighbors about the mission and programming provided within the church. The church houses both religious and secular programs supporting LGBTQ youth, resettling refugees, and for activists working to redefine whom religious scripture includes.


The mural was produced with 100 community members' input via surveys and community paint days. I conducted interviews with the congregation to inspire the design. When I asked what Trinity meant to them, the members repeatedly shared that it felt like coming home. I created preliminary designs based on that feedback and worked closely with Pastor Sue and a selected mural committee to hone in on a final design. Over 70 community members, including students through the Seed to Table program, helped paint the mural. A team of five of us finessed and installed the mural summer-fall of 2018.

Additional Information

Mural with a mission: Mural Dedication to Celebrate “Global Experience” of Church: Podcast: a mural, a journey: