New Mural Brings The Color of Performing Arts to Campus 

Courtesy of @bklyncollege411 on Instagram

By Amira Turner

 

   Color, motion, and music burst off of the newly installed “Kaleidoscopic Ballad” mural on the first floor of the Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts, mirroring the creative energy buzzing around the building.

   The mural was a collaborative effort of Brooklyn College Professor Julia Cocuzza’s fall 2023 Art 3414 students, which include Mawada Ahmed, Juliet Dakin, Latifah Ford, Noah Hinds, Shuqi Li, Kevin Molina, Christina Nguyen, Jose Romain, Gabriela Suarez, To Uyen Thai, Vu Quyen Thai, Filip Timerman, and Kyra Zelaya. The class received support from the Art Department, Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts, Office of Finance, Office of the President, Office of Diversity & Equity Programs, and the Dean of the School of Visual Media & Performing Arts to complete the project. 

      The mural took the class about eight weeks of collaborative drafting in class, and another eight weeks to paint. Some students came in outside of class time to make sure the project was completed by the end of the semester. The mural was created in smaller sections first, which were projected onto the wall, and combined into the final pieces. 

   “It was tedious, but the end result makes it worth it,” Jose Romain, one of the artists, said. 

    A wide range of bright colors, reflected figures and abstracted shapes inspired the kaleidoscopic theme of the mural. “Kaleidoscope Ballad” centers around a white piano, bursting with colorful flowers and symmetrical, monochromatic tableaus of diverse performers. The mural plays with realism and abstraction while capturing and mirroring the energy and diversity of the BC arts community, similar to how kaleidoscopes capture and mirror the world. 

   Senior Latifah Ford told The Vanguard that her motivating force in working on the mural was creating a sense of pride on campus. “I’m most proud that I get to say I painted a mural at my alma mater.” 

    This is the second mural spearheaded by Coucuzza and her Art 3414 class. More mural work from previous classes can be found on the second floor of the Film Department’s West End Building. The mural, titled “Cinematic Escape of Sight and Sound,” was created by Coucuzza’s fall 2022 class, and is a collage of colorful vignettes paying homage to all of the film industry’s moving parts. 

  Students who have been a part of the projects entered the world of mural work right from campus.

   “I would definitely recommend the course to other students,” Ford said. “There were students who had never done a mural before and left the semester wanting to do more.” 

    Cocuzza will be continuing her mural class, with the next mural for BC slated for fall 2024. 

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