The following account tells the story of a small funding grant that launched a university-based arts project in which 40 university student volunteers designed and painted 68 concrete panels on the theme of globalisation, over a 2-year period. In the weekly project sessions, held in an underground theatre dressing-room, a community formed which embodied many of the qualities described by Lave and Wenger (Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991) as characteristic of a Community of Practice (CoP). Most notably, this project came to be one in which the participants, “share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Lave and Wenger, Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation, p. 1, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991). Initiating a voluntary, meagrely funded arts project in a university where time is short for everyone was a risky proposition, but I felt it was important to offer an opportunity to students to counter-balance the cognitively focused nature of university study. I wanted to know how Gen Y students felt about the globalised world. Also, knowing that university student life can be marked by loneliness and isolation (Sawir et al. in J Stud Int Educ 12(2):148–180, 2008), I was curious to find out whether a communal arts experience might lead to greater levels of well-being. The project participants were not fine arts students, and most had not painted ‘since kindergarten’. Nevertheless, they showed willingness, and even passion, to translate their feelings about globalisation into sketches and then into metre-long painted panels for public display. This commitment to the project endured, week after week, for 2 years, even through wintery nights and exam periods. It was at odds with some of the literature on university student engagement, which argues that contemporary Gen Y university students are pragmatically focused on gaining their qualifications and hence do not involve themselves in campus life (Levy and Campbell 2008). What kept the participants returning to the mural space? I pondered this question at many points during the 2-year project. It seemed evident that they enjoyed being there, and this was affirmed regularly in their weekly mural journals and in the project sessions. Csikszentmihalyi argued that creative acts are linked to a sense of well-being and happiness in humans (Csikszentmihalyi, The Futurist 31(5): 8–12, 1997); when this is combined with a sense of meaning, it becomes what he calls, “vital engagement”, or “a relationship to the world that is characterized both by experiences of flow (enjoyed absorption) and by meaning (subjective significance)” (Nakamura and Csikzentmihalyi 2002, p. 87). The mural participants seemed to invest a strong sense of meaning in their mural panels; they took great care in painting the images and often spent sustained periods of time in concentrated silence as they worked. Their regular attendance at the mural sessions, and also their intensity in approaching the task suggested that intrinsic motivation played a role in maintaining participants’ interest levels in the project. On the other hand, the collaborative nature of the project seemed to generate its own level of enjoyment and intrinsic motivation. In the mural space there was frequent laughter, appreciative commentary on each other’s designs, and often the sense of initial weariness transforming into focused energy in the design and painting process. It seemed that the social practice embodied in this project was also a generator of well-being for the participants. Indeed, through an “enabling, confirming and supportive process… that foster[ed] interpersonal development” (Rendon 1994, p. 44, cited in Penn-Edwards and Donnison Int J First Year High Educ 5(1): 31–41, 2014), the participants formed a cohesive learning community as they worked through the design and implementation stages of the process: creating images for their panels, rendering the images and learning how to mix and apply paint. In common with most university students, it was clear that the mural group participants already negotiated many roles in their daily lives, and had been, “socialised into multiple, overlapping communities of practice” (Morton Linguist Educ 23(1):100–111, 2012, p. 109). Nevertheless, the mural project allowed them not only to form friendships and a distinct learning community, but also to cross boundaries and gain new expertise in areas that were often remote from their disciplinary studies. In this chapter I argue that this community of practice, based around a creative arts project in an academic environment, enabled the participants to connect with each other and with their creative potentialities, with visual design and with a social form of learning that enriched their university experience.