Mural Mania: A Look Back on MC’s First Public Art Installation

By Abby Crowell, Staff Writer

Since last May, Manhattan College students have been fortunate enough to view the radiant, student created mural whenever using the stairs outside of Thomas Hall.

With the help of several diligent MC students and Dr. Mark Pottinger, the Associate Professor of Music and Chair and Founder of the Visual & Performing Arts Department here at Manhattan created something from nothing. “The mural is defined by students and reflects their ability,” Pottinger said.

The mural, which represents an innovative journey of any student at MC, is painted on treated wood paneling.

This wood was specially made to protect the mural against dripping rust and weather conditions.

This enables the mural to require little to no maintenance or touch ups, however, Pottinger estimates that restoration may be needed once every two years.

With such a beautiful piece of art, security measures are necessary, and therefore, there is a security camera specifically installed to ensure the wellbeing of the mural.

Pottinger made it very clear that the subject of the mural will change when

it no longer reflects the current lives of students.

“The subject of the mural is based on students interests, so it’ll most likely change when it no longer reflects the current lives of students,” Pottinger said.

As of now, the mural is a perfect portrayal of the diversity, community and Lasallian culture that Manhattan College offers.

As for the future of the Bridge Mural, Pottinger hopes to expand the art to different aspects of the outdoor area.

One idea is to transform the currently rusty, cement pillar, which stands parallel to the mural, into an imaginative tree. This would be in effort to amplify the dull ceilings and pillars surrounding the mural. This presents itself as an innovative project requiring another team of talented students who have an artistic vision. This possible project would take place in future years, as there is no solid plan as of now.

Pottinger would also like to modify the grey Thomas Hall stairs painted to transform its dimness, maybe including the Manhattan College shield logo.

If students wish to go above and beyond, prospective ideas include painting the garbage bins, as well as any empty spaces between dorm buildings. It is clear that this one mural has inspired other artistic potentiality across campus.

No matter what the next project is, there is no doubt that it will improve the overall environment of our school.

Natalia Alvarez, a sophomore at MC, served as one of the eleven students who worked day and night to accomplish this original mural.

Alvarez enjoyed getting involved with the mural through a work study opportunity, as well as her interest in art. “I hope it changes when it absolutely has to be changed, due to all the effort, work, time, research and surveys that went into this authentic mural,” she said.

Luckily, Natalia doesn’t have to worry about a new mural just yet, as Pottinger predicts the mural won’t stay up for more than five years. By this time, a new wave of students and ideas will be flowing through Manhattan College.

In the near future, the mural will be adopting a sign, describing the artwork as well as displaying a QR code, enabling observers to be brought directly to a website in order to learn more about the mural.

Students are encouraged to savor this visual piece of art as well as look forward to the future of murals present on Manhattan College campus.