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Billboard project mixes student art, historical photos
The Onondaga Historical Association (OHA) and the Connective Corridor recently launched “Iconic Syracuse,” a collaborative billboard project at the gateway to Armory Square featuring historical scenes of Syracuse paired with oil paintings created by industrial and interaction design students Greg Mawicke and Jesse Handelman. Under the direction of VPA Professor Denise Heckman, and Linda Hartsock, director of SU’s Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development, “Iconic Syracuse” is scheduled to run for an entire year, with a new billboard appearing in the city on the first of every month.
“What’s so wonderful about this project is the fresh perspective offered by the students’ paintings,” says Heckman. “Their work introduces us to areas of the community that we might pass by every day without a thought. The billboards encourage us to take a second look.”
Mawicke, a fifth-year senior from Milwaukee says he is honored to be working on this Connective Corridor project. “I hope my paintings convey the respect I have for Syracuse and highlight the beauty that the city still holds,” Mawicke says.
Handelman, a junior from Rochester, N.Y., agrees. “The images provided by the OHA show what a fascinating, historic city Syracuse is,” he says. “I hope my work illustrates some of the beauty we continue to see in this city every day.”
Assisting with the research and development of the billboards are industrial and interaction design students Marcus Hanna and Ariel Zuckerman, both fifth-year seniors in the industrial and interaction design program. Adjunct professor and CEED project manager Stephen Klimek is the graphic designer. The photos used on the billboard were selected by OHA’s Curator of History Dennis Connor.
Executive director of OHA Gregg Tripoli says he is thrilled to be collaborating with SU to bring a historical perspective to the Connective Corridor. “This project is a beautiful mix of the old and the new and it symbolizes the important role that our past has on informing our future,” he says.
An opening reception to celebrate “Iconic Syracuse” will be held Thursday, Sept. 6, from 4-6 p.m. at the Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St., fourth floor. The reception is free and open to the public.