CSUN Artists Create New Campus Murals

Alexander Viray

There are two murals on campus that showcase the talent and creativity of art majors. The first is in the Plaza Del Sol Theatre, which was created by Keiko Tanabe and Angela Bernal. The second piece is going up in the Noski Auditorium. This piece was created by Lena Sayadian, Maria Magdalena Cruz, Christina Gutierrez, Ashley Mistriel and Elva Aguilar.

Originally, six groups of students from Laurel Long’s illustration class presented ideas for the mural. Tanabe and Bernal’s design that was chosen. She said, ‘We were so happy and felt very proud of it.’

Leslie Gillman, the CSUN facilities reservation director, said the Performing Arts Center Theater in the USU was being rented out by the Academic Resources department. Professors gave a wish list as to of what they wanted to have done to improve the aesthetic quality of the theater. Some of these ideas included installing in new lighting and technical details to help liven up the bland look that it had, but it was the idea of a mural that won in the end. The cost of the mural was then shared between the USU and Academic Resources.

Bernal and Tanabe spoke to Professor Laurel Long about their intentions, concepts and inspiration right from the beginning.

‘We wanted to use images relating to the intellectual exploration of science and humanities, such as Da Vinci’s invention drawings and Beethoven’s musical notation, and combine those with abstract color fields that represent the natural elements of earth, water and fire. We wanted to visually represent the different areas of university study,’ they said.

But it wasn’t all cut and dry when it came to putting the winning mural up. It took about one month to create the design, and it was much too small to upscale into the mural. The irregular shapes of the design posed additional problems.

Sayadian, a senior, was the lead artist for the Noski Auditorium mural. At the age of 12 she looked more seriously into art and had aspirations of becoming a cartoonist. Sayadian eventually changed her mind in CSUN and wanted to become an illustrator.

Her inspiration for the mural came with simplicity. ‘Well, the theme was introduced to the whole class, which was innovations and inventions, and it just took off from there. My group and I brainstormed several ideas and we came up with a simple outcome that would get the message of the continuity and flow of ideas through to the viewer,’ said Sayadian.

Last year CSUN was working on remodeling the Noski Auditorium, but there was only enough money to put in new flooring and paint the chairs. The result was an auditorium with new chairs and a new floor, but aged acoustic panel walls.
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This mural also took about one month to design. Currently it is not up, but it is expected later this spring.
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Lena felt very satisfied with the project. ‘Our idea was chosen out of many from the class, and I am glad to be a part of the whole process,’ she said.