I’d like to see the murals. Sounds pretty interesting. I have fond memories of a mural painted on the old Golden Bear, probably 50 or more years ago, in the Watch Office. So the tradition has some ancient roots. But, that being said, I have to note this:
The purpose of a training ship is to train you to work in a commercial setting. In maritime commerce the niceties of Western civilization (art, self-realization) are given as much as much respect as President Obama in a West Virginia Waffle House. Here’s the lesson: When you go to sea, you don’t get what you want. You get what the company gives you, or what you can negotiate out of them, and no one is going to negotiate art gallery privileges. If you paint a mural on a commercial ship and the captain tells you to paint over it, for whatever reason, your answers are limited to either “Yes” or “Yes, sir”. So consider you’re learning a lesson in the utility of democracy in merchant marine life (i.e, none).
Sidebar: Two hundred years ago sailors were skilled craftsmen who created and repaired miles of rigging and acres of sails with their bare hands. Years of skill went into the very detailed exacting work. Amazing what drunken syphilitics can do. Anyway, in those days, sailors used their skill to make their own artwork: scrimshaw, seaman’s chests, model ships, etc. in their spare time. They even made their own clothing. But it was all personal items. If Davy Jones wanted a mural, he tatooed one on his chest.