Bringing Art to the SLB

David Charcape's mural promoting unity among students.

David Charcape’s mural promoting unity among students.

By Abiel Wilson.

The walls of the Student Life Building (SLB) now showcase the artistic talent of Lehman students thanks to the murals of the Student Life Art Project, SLAP.

After going through renovations for about a year, the SLB became available to the clubs and students of Lehman at the beginning of this fall semester.

In the spring, the Office of Campus Life informed students about the need for decorative ideas for the remodeled building.

Bringing Life to the SLB

Brion Moss adding the last touches to his mural featuring sunlight breaking through dark clouds.

On May 24, Suzette Ramsundar, associate director of Campus Life, Michael E. Sullivan, director of Campus Life, and a small group of students, met to discuss the several ways art could be used to improve the appearance of the SLB.

It was at this meeting that the project received its name: SLAP. Each mural has a different theme and subject matter reflecting the variety of Lehman experience. There are a total of seven murals featuring images of a tropical island, a sun breaking through dark clouds, and others.

David Charcape, a Lehman alumnus, painted a mural displaying a red outline of fists that give a sense of dignity and power.  Above the line of fists, there is a quote by American Indian leader Tecumseh that reads, “A SINGLE TWIG BREAKS, BUT THE BUNDLE OF TWIGS IS STRONG,” as a reminder of how important unity is to Lehman students.

“I was planning to do something very humble to honor the clubs that are involved with social movements like the Lehman Dream Team or Black Legacy,” said Charcape.

Alexandra Nunez, a Lehman alumna, painted an abstract pattern of white, green, blue (the colors of Lehman), and black wavy lines and organic shapes. In the center the initials of Lehman College are painted in black. Curved lines in gold/dark yellow surround the initials as if they are giving off a sound.

Bringing Art to the SLB

Alexandra Nuñez’s abstract painting with Lehman’s initials.

They are helping the Student Life Building feel more like home, which is what Ramsundar had hoped for.

Learning how to make murals was a challenge for some of the students. Henry Portillo, an artist who is a member of the INK club and is SLAP student art coordinator, explained,“I didn’t have experience for mural painting at all. I’ve done traditional paintings and watercolor paintings and everything on paper, but nothing on the wall, so I spent about a week and a half doing research on mural painting.”

The creators of the art project plan to include a headshot of the artists next to each mural, along with their bios or statements.

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