Written by Or Geshury
I remember trudging through thick snow in the middle of a blizzard to see Tyler, the artist who inspired us when we saw his work at La Colombe, working through the night to finish the mural. It's the first piece of art we've commissioned to reflect our values, and I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for it.
I wanted to explain the deep symbolism and meaning behind it, because it's something that our students and guests pass quickly when they rush in to make class on time, take a test, or attend a corporate event, and it's worth taking a minute to explain what it all means.
On the bottom right side, there's a hop leaf, and above that there is a stained glass window. This is because the knowledge to make distilled alcohol was spread from the middle east by the church. Our name, Aqua Vitae, is pronounced according to the Ecclesiastical Latin of the Catholic Church, and not classical Roman Latin in homage to this.
The colors of the mural are the same kinds of colors you get when a rising sun passes through stained glass, and this is because we wanted to spread knowledge and a new way to look at alcohol the way the dawn breaks in the morning.
On the bottom there's a wine leaf and a grape, both because wine and beer are the foundation of alcohol and because the wine world really inspires us with its attention to detail, elegance, and focus on health. Above the grapes are a vineyard, barrels being aged, and finally, a motif inspired by a combination of the drawings of the early alchemists and a coffey still.
One cool little detail is that most stills are made from copper (it conducts heat and removes sulphur better than steel), and we actually have a small copper pipe running through the top of the mural.