J Street to receive student-designed mural

While televisions hang on the walls of the Marvin Center’s Columbian Square, a student organization is searching for a more artistic alternative.

The Marvin Center Governing Board is calling all artists in an effort to beautify a hub of GW student life. The board plans to offer $500 to the individual or group it chooses to paint a mural in the eating area and meeting space.

The mural will be located on the large panel under the clock in Columbian square and will depict a “GW-related scene or a value central to the GW community,” the application states.

“I think it is a great endeavor,” said Michael Peller, managing director of the Marvin Center. “It will add some color and some flavor to the space.”

Funding for the reward and a stipend of up to $1,000 for supplies will come mainly from the MCGB budget, Peller said. “The governing board is really driving this project.”

“When it was brought up in a January meeting, we were in 100 percent agreement that we didn’t want it to be commercial.” said Charlie Leizear, MCGB chairman. “It is the student union, so we wanted a student-created space for students.”

Leizear, a senior, added that a student-produced mural will be “more visually appealing than a commercial sign,” and that the governing board has been considering ways to use the space for about a year.

Leizear said earlier this week that he expected to receive 10 to 20 submissions by yesterday’s deadline.

A few students, administrators and professors from the fine arts department will narrow down the pool of applicants to two or three, Leizear said. After a second round of sketches are produced and judged, the winner will be announced April 9. The governing board expects the winner to complete the mural by April 30.

Some students eating and studying in Columbian Square agreed that a student-produced mural would be good use of the undecorated space.

“I hope it’s nothing like the ridiculous piece in Ivory,” said sophomore Kristen Simpson, referring to the commercial sign that hangs above the dining area in Ivory Tower which features photographs of students eating food. Simpson said she hopes to see themes related to D.C. in the mural.

Other students agreed that they wanted D.C. landmarks depicted in the mural, with suggestions including the White House, various national monuments and or the District’s world-famous cherry blossom trees.

“Extracurricular activities or student organizations (should be depicted in the mural) since this space is often used by those groups,” freshman Meg Wexler said. “There are a lot of students (in Columbia Plaza), so why not make it a student space?”

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