A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
September 7, 2006 Volume 37 / Number 1


The Murals of John Pugh

John Pugh’s career as a muralist began with the Taylor Hall mural, painted in 1980–1981, when he was still a student at CSU, Chico. Pugh has gone on to create more than 200 large-scale trompe l’oeil murals across the United States, New Zealand, and Taiwan.

Pugh’s art captures the imagination and engages the mind. “Once captivated by the deception,” he says, “the viewer is lured into crossing an artistic threshold and is seduced into exploring the concept of the piece.”

CSU, Chico honored Pugh as the College of Humanities and Fine Arts’ Distinguished Alum in 2003. He returned to Chico that summer and spent a week refurbishing the mural, much to the delight of Chicoans who visited him long into the hot summer nights as he repainted the wall.

Now Pugh returns to Chico to launch The Murals of John Pugh, the first collection of his work. The book, by Kevin Bruce, showcases 35 of Pugh’s most famous pieces, discusses how he revitalized the trompe l’oeil genre into a vital mode of artistic expression, and illuminates the artist’s creative process from sketch to finished mural.

Pugh and Bruce will give an illustrated talk Sept. 8 at 4 p.m. in Ayres Hall 106. A reception and book-signing will follow at the Taylor Hall Mural.