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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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Melville Library Gets Some Color Art Students Paint Mural

Windows have been opened in the basement of the library.

What they reveal is Stony Brook’s campus and all of its traditions – seen through the eye of graduating senior Sophia Dang. These windows were painted onto the wall in the form of a mural that now spans 100 feet down the hall outside  the University Bookstore. And when it comes to illuminating what is truly outside on Stony Brook’s campus, these windows serve their purpose well.

The mural project started with the University Bookstore: a common spot where nearly every Stony Brook student will find themselves at least once during their years here. But the entrance to the store has been plagued by a boring, empty hallway.

Deborah DiFranco, provost liason of the bookstore, wanted something to liven up the hallway where elevators and Kinkos are found. In order to do this, she sought the help of  Dang, who was majoring in art history and studio art.

“My friend works at the bookstore,” said Dang, “and he had mentioned my past work to DiFranco, who then wanted to meet with me.”

Dang had painted murals in Brooklyn, some as large as four stories high. According to Dang, these artworks spoke about social issues and they included a lot of research, planning, and scaling. The work took seven weeks to complete with a group of artists working from 9-5 daily. It was because of this experience that Dang was chosen to help spearhead the mural project, a job that so far has taken three months.

“The offer was made in mid-June,” said Dang. “And then after we got the funding and approval and bought all the supplies, we started working in mid-July.”

The mural is a continuous stretch of windows on a red brick wall. Each window contains a different Stony Brook tradition. It plays off of the idea of “window shopping” and Dang says she hopes it will be a way all students feel connected by showing them what Stony Brook has to offer.

Dang says responses so far have been positive. Seniors say the mural brings up memories and little kids excitedly notice the Harry Potter references on the far end of the hall.

But this not-so-small task included a lot of collaboration and involved many different people.

Art majors who were interested in volunteering came up to Dang with some of their own designs for the windows, and with Dang’s approval, their own favorite Stony Brook memories are now a part of the mural, including Strawberry Fest, Roth Pond Regatta and graduation.

Along with many Stony Brook students, one high school student pitched in as well. Longwood High School senior Thomas Cusanelli, hopes to attend Stony Brook in fall 2011.

“The mural adds a lot to the hallway,” said Cusanelli, who painted the Wolfie picture and the boy painting the words ‘Stony Brook University.’ “Hopefully, it will bring a lot more traffic down here.”

With the talents of many contributing to the artwork, a deadline for the completion of the mural has been set for Homecoming 2010 on Oct. 9. After it is finished, DiFranco hopes to hold an official unveiling of the project for faculty and students.

“There were talks about a reception where the mural can be officially revealed,” Dang said. “Hopefully people who are interested in art will come down and see it.”

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