Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus
Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus
Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus
Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus
Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus
Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus
Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus
Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus

Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus

Pentagram Design, New York, New York, New York, 2010

Description

Project brief: The designer was commissioned to create a pair of murals at the new Queens Metropolitan Campus in Forest Hills, which includes Queens Metropolitan High School and the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, a middle school. The murals were commissioned by the NYC Department of Education and the NYC School Construction Authority’s Public Art for Public Schools program, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art program.

Approach: The two murals are located in a pair of solariums at the Metropolitan Campus and each cover approximately 2,430 square feet. One of the murals provides a view of the New York metropolitan region with a focus on Queens; the second, of Metropolitan Avenue, is painted in 20 languages—from Spanish, Polish and Russian to Korean, Hebrew and Hindi—that are spoken by residents of Queens.

In the murals, New York City sprawls across the walls in vibrant color, wrapping around walls, corners and ceiling, creating a dimensional painting of the students’ own community. Some locations in the murals are misspelled or misidentified, and the artist seems to be figuring out the geography along with the students, creating a joyous sense of recognition that mirrors the learning process.

The designers projected each original mural on a series of panels and repainted the enlarged image. Each finished mural consists of more than 100 of these panels, most 4 feet by 8 feet but others in odd sizes to fit into the solariums’ corners and around windows and other fixtures. The panels are made of 3-mm-thick DiBond and are covered in applied canvas. Painted in acrylic, the panels re-create the dense layering and texture of the original artwork, albeit on a larger scale.

Effectiveness: The project received recognition for creating a unique environment at the school with economy and style. Most important, the students and community love the graphics and have embraced them as part of their school spirit. Marci Levy-Maguire, principal of Queens Metropolitan High School, says, “Everyone is looking up with a general sense of awe and wonder. People feel special in the building, and the mural is a reflection of that. There is a focus on personalization. Everyone looks up at the mural and finds something personal to them.”

Collections: AIGA 365: Design Effectiveness (2011)
Discipline: Environmental graphic design
Format: Exhibit, Signage, Experience
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