Puma Press

Photo mural becomes reality in KSC


photo mural
Photo by Nikki Charnstrom
Photo mural creator and PVCC art major, Jonathan Lucas poses underneath what he calls "the centerpiece" of the photomural located in the KSC hallway.

Conceived in 2009, the “Faces of PVCC” photomural, located in the hallway of the Paradise Valley Community College student center, is now a dream come true for photographer, artist and Paradise Valley Community College art major, Jonathan Lucas.

With a desire to make a lasting impact on campus, the PVCC Photography Club founder, developed the design of the project . The light bulb switched on one day when he was with a group of students.

“It was a way at that time to give to the student body with no strings attached, to make them feel proud of the school they were a part of,” Lucas said. “It was a eureka moment for sure.”

Vice president of student affairs, Dr. Sandra Miller Holst, and interim dean of administrative and enrollment services, Sandy McDill, supported Lucas’ vision and PVCC President Dr. Paul Dale approved the project.

Lucas says that Miller Holst came to him in the spring of 2013 claiming that a wall of photos had been on her mind for years. Ironically, Lucas had never shared this idea with her before. Giving her partial credit for the idea, Lucas says, “… I gave her my work, she lent me my dream.”

Through the photo mural, Lucas wanted to represent the students and make a statement of diversity. Its purpose is to combine people of varying age, race, ability, sexual orientation, gender and religion. The layout of the photographs is also designed to honor this combination of diversity. The arrangement of the photos in diptychs and triptychs symbolically represent these differences displayed throughout.

Lucas’ vision of the wall doesn’t end here but continues , foreseeing a student-centered, technological showcase of PVCC. He feels his work may give way to a wall lined with TV screens. These screens would display a variety of continually updated photos and information . On- campus clubs, organizations and groups could submit photos or ads to a slideshow that would play on these screens. Lucas also envisions the wall as a kiosk for multiple mediums : databases for clubs, local hotspots, PVCC sport scores, roommate ads, study abroad programs, semester schedules, carpool routes and more.

When considering what photos to hang, Lucas says they must be something that speaks to the students. The triptych, the single photo broken down into three parts, was the photo Lucas structured the project around.
“That was the centerpiece,” he says.

When students gaze at the wall, Lucas wants them to see themselves. He says the most liberating experience is when someone can look at a photo and associate with it in some way.

Lucas says, “ … My greatest love is walking past it in the mornings to motivate myself, but the greatest motivator is when people stop and look at most of the faces.”

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