Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Corp, GUASFCU Fund Murals

DANIEL SMITH/THE HOYA The Corp and GUASFCU will use leftover funds from ReImagine Georgetown to install a mural in the staircase of Lauinger Library.
The Corp and GUASFCU will use leftover funds from ReImagine Georgetown to install a mural in the staircase of Lauinger Library.

Over a year after the discontinuation of the “ReImagine Georgetown Grant” program, Students of Georgetown, Inc. and the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union will distribute remaining funds to painting murals on campus, bringing “Starry Night Over Georgetown” back to campus.

The project plan currently includes two murals, one along the wall in front of Yates Field House facing the street and the other on the wall in the stairway between the second and third floors of Lauinger Library.

The combined cost for the murals will be $3,000 — most of which is from leftover funds from previous ReImagine Georgetown projects, which include the Georgetown Farmers Market and the Winter Hoyaland that furnished Healy Circle with Christmas decorations. According to Students of Georgetown, Inc. CEO Sam Rodman (MSB ’15), students had plans for a similar art project that received RIG funding in 2012 but graduated before the project came to fruition.

Rodman said that GUAFSCU tapped into unused RIG funding, while The Corp funded the difference to reach $3,000.

“The way we see it is that we wouldn’t exist without the Georgetown community, we wouldn’t exist without students who patronize our services,” Rodman said. “We want to make sure that we’re consistently challenging ourselves to find the most high-impact voices to grant some scholarships or even more creative outlets.”

The Lauinger mural will be a remake of the “Starry Night Over Georgetown” that was chalked in Red Square last winter, while the Yates mural, whose official design is yet to be determined, will be more school-spirit oriented. The artists must hear back from the athletics department before finalizing plans for the mural in Yates.

Georgetown University Student Association Senator Mandy Lee (SFS ’17) learned of leftover RIG funds and asked The Corp and GUAFSCU for monetary support to revitalize the mural project. Lee said she decided to revamp the mural project to bring art to campus because she thought that the arts presence was lacking.

“There’s really not a huge presence in terms of the arts community, and living in the city, we’re surrounded by gorgeous murals,” Lee said. “I thought this would be an extremely cool idea, especially since I found out it had been attempted in the past.”

RIG, which was discontinued last fall due to logistical problems with continuing the projects, was created in 2007 as a partnership between GUASFCU, The Corp and The Hoya that aimed to better the community. The Corp and GUASFCU provided funding, while The Hoya provided marketing.

GUSA Senator Meredith Cheney (COL ’16) helped develop plans for the project and said that she received over 20 submissions for mural ideas from students. Agree Ahmed (SFS ’15), who chalked an interpretation of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in Red Square in December, will recreate the piece in paint on Lauinger’s wall.

“From all the hype that it got when it was chalked in Red Square last February, we thought it would be a more perfect piece of art to highlight somewhere around campus,” Cheney said.

Lee said she is eager to develop more concrete plans for the Yates mural since its designs will involve student input.

“We’re actually working with athletics to try and come up with something that revolves a little bit more around school spirit,” Lee said. “We haven’t come up with a design or anything yet; we have designs that were submitted by students last year which we’re looking at, as well as the design team over at athletics is working on a few different designs.”

Although Vice President for Planning and Facilities Robin Morey has approved the Lauinger mural, the library’s administrators have not yet approved it. Cheney said she hopes the Lauinger mural will be finished by February but that the Yates mural may take longer.

“We really need to wait ’til the end of basketball season to hear feedback from athletics,” Cheney said. “Their designers are quite busy.”

According to Cheney, GUSA is looking to paint murals in other locations on campus in the future.

“We don’t have any other locations as of yet but we’re definitely looking for proposals,” Cheney said. “The criterion that we have stuck with for determining a location is high visibility and somewhere central on campus. According to Lau [aministrators], on a given day Lau receives about 4,000 people. “

Justin Chen (COL ’17) said he was a fan of last year’s Starry Night but was hesitant about how the money was being used.

“Honestly, there might be better uses of resources than doing murals like that,” Chen said. “I think they’re nice to look at, but I don’t see them adding a lot to the campus community.”

Chen said he hopes that the Yates mural will acknowledge the pluralistic Georgetown experience.

“[I want] something that reflects diversity on campus, something that reflects the amount of different cultural groups that we have on campus,” Chen said. “I think that would be really cool to capture in a mural.”

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