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Walla Walla, WA
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Tread Shed Mural

May 25, 2023
Ashley Herber

Hannah Jane Gillespie’s Work to Create a Lasting Piece of Art

Ashley Herber

If you look out of the back window at The Atlas, you will see a colorfully bold mural on the Tread Shed, which features a biker looking down a road that stretches into a rocky landscape. This mural was painted by Hannah Jane Gillespie, a senior fine arts major, and was finished on April 28, 2023. Gillespie took inspiration for the mural from the Walla Walla Valley and the University colors.  

In April of 2022, senior business major Samuel Piner, the then-Tread Shed manager, reached out to Gillespie about painting a mural on the long outer wall of the Tread Shed that faces The Atlas. At the time, the wall was painted a dull green like the rest of the building, but Piner believed a mural would draw more attention to the space.  

Gillespie instantly sprang into action by creating designs, working with Piner to approve the mural through ASWWU, and obtaining a budget for paints and other supplies. By the time Gillespie was finally ready to paint, summer vacation began, and the mural had to wait until fall quarter. 

When Gillespie returned from summer break, she began the process of painting the mural when snow, rain, and busy schedules delayed activity. As the work progressed, Gillespie had help as she planned, prepped, and painted: Piner helped to prepare the wall and shop for supplies; Darya Munroe, a sophomore fine arts major, helped with painting; Sarah Kozachenko, a senior forensic psychology major with an art minor, helped with color mixing and spot touch-up; and Keiri Sloan helped with color blending and painting the road. After many days and long hours in all types of weather, the mural was finally finished almost exactly one year after the idea started.  

Gillespie particularly loves several features of the mural. One is that the painted road leads into the Tread Shed window, which emphasizes that the Tread Shed is where students should go if they want an adventure. Another is how the clouds intercept the mountains, making them look very tall. She also loves the glasses on the biker, which were a last-minute addition, and that the bike is modelled after the bikes students can rent from the Tread Shed.  

Gillespie is excited that her mural will be enjoyed by many students for years to come and said, “I am very happy to leave something here. It is nice to be able to see it and I hope people enjoy it and that it creates a sense of adventure.” [1] 

For more information on ASWWU Outdoors and the Tread Shed, read this article 

Gillespie Mural: Photo by Ashley Herber.


  1. Interview with Hannah Jane Gillespie, 5/22/2023.  



  1. Gillespie Mural: Photo by Ashley Herber. 
  2. Cover photo: Photo by Hannah Jane. 


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