To receive art and inspiration once a month in your inbox


A Cliffhanger at Stanford – The Outdoor Education Center’s New Climbing Mural

By August 28, 2014 November 15th, 2021 No Comments

A Cliffhanger at Stanford – The Outdoor Education Center’s New Climbing Mural

By Morgan Bricca August 28, 2014

The telephone rings…

Kelsey: Hi, this is Kelsey from the Stanford Outdoor Education Center. We are interested in a mural?

Morgan: No way.  No way!  (Muffled squeal.)  (Jumping up and down in the background.)

Kelsey: Hello?  Are you still there?

Somehow my brain gets confused these days between the concept of “work” and “you just won tickets to a concert of your favorite band.”  The same region of my brain lights up.

So it was with this project.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Mr. Arrillaga, who maintains careful oversight of his buildings, had a strict “white walls only” policy.  A rock-climbing mural was barely a remote possibility.

But Kelsey and I tiptoed together towards the possibility.  I created a few designs, and she kept bugging her boss and bringing it up at staff meetings.

In the end, Mr. Arrillaga was won over and I was a good fit for the Outdoor Education Center.  Best of all, creating this piece was as much fun as winning concert tickets to see my favorite band.

Yosemite Half Dome Mural at Stanford Outdoor Education Center

Yosemite Half Dome Mural at Stanford Outdoor Education Center

Highlights of the project included riding my bike to work and meeting a cool tribe of out-of-doors loving people.

I miss my new friends there already.  I am ready to return to work the front desk, or fold up tents – but they do still have an awful lot of white walls…

Note on scale:  This cute rock climber is about ten feet tall on the wall.

Rock Climber Mural Painting at Stanford University in California

Rock Climber Mural Painting at Stanford University in California

(Check out more closeups of the mural here.)

Kelsey McCabe

Every mural I paint has one person that is the instigator.  They usually have to convince someone else, typically their client or spouse, of the potential merits of a mural.  In Kelsey’s case, that included many people up, down and sideways related to the Outdoor Education Center.  I imagine that the concept of “mural” is not an easy sell.  It can mean many things to many people.  My hope is that pictures do tell a thousand words, and that the images on my website will help the instigators better promote their idea of a mural.  In this case, that’s exactly what happened.  Kelsey’s boss, Chris, told me Mr. Arrillaga was opposed to the idea of a mural, until he visited my website.

Thanks are due to Dave, Naomi and Nicole for all their help this past year on my website!

And to Kelsey, for being the instigator.  Did I mention I love instigators?  We did it!

Kelsey and Morgan

You can watch Morgan create this mural start to finish in under two minutes: click here to watch the video.

What’s inspiring me now…

I recently subscribed to a newsletter devoted to the pursuit of minimalism.  The irony of adding more clutter to my inbox with content on simplifying my life was not lost on me.  However, I love the newsletter!  It comes every other week. I am inspired by the links and focus of the writing.  You can subscribe here.  Lots of links to great websites and articles.  A few pieces I particularly enjoyed:


If you are wondering how to quit your job and do something completely different, or curious about how I got started painting murals, you might like this interview: Corporate Girl Turns Full Time Artist. My friend Joanna Kanow interviewed me for her blog at   I wax philosophic on quitting my job, success and green smoothies.


I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.

– E.B. White


I am so deeply appreciative for the ongoing support of my friends, fans, clients and family.  Painting murals is super fun, but it is the connections I make as I dance along that make it all worthwhile.  Thank you for your support.

Enjoy the remains of your summer,

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca is a mural artist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her clients run the gamut from professional creatives, including architects and designers to building owners, school administrators and community advocates. When she is not making art, Morgan enjoys sipping boba tea with her kids and taking naps on the couch.