A new mural graces the walls of the Film Department thanks to a collective effort of students, faculty and staff. The second floor of the West End Building (W.E.B.) has received a major artistic facelift in the form of a mural, thanks to a new experimental art course. While the project was the result of a longtime coordinated effort between the Art Department and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Alan Gilbert, the real stars were 13 students (12 undergraduate and one graduate) who worked with accomplished mural artist and Adjunct Professor Julia Cocuzza ‘11 M.F.A. as class instructor and artist Derrick Adams as a supporter and adviser. As for the new mural course (Art 3414), it will be offered in Fall 2023. Adjunct Professor and accomplished mural artist Julia Cocuzza ‘11 M.F.A., who taught the experimental class that will officially be offered Fall 2023, addresses the crowd with students involved with creating the mural (left to right) Elizabeth Li, Katherine Infante, Crystal Gonzalez, Sasecie Bernard, Angela Auriti, and Nicole Harripersad. “For a while it’s been a goal of mine to bring mural art into higher education and it feels great to do it at my graduate alma mater,” Cocuzza said. “I’m very proud of this team of student-artists and what we created as a collaborative, they rose to the challenge and really delivered. I’m also proud of the stakeholders for their consistent support and trust. We hope the entire Film community, present and future, will feel encouraged and connected by this work.” Along with Cocuzza and Adams, the project received guidance and support from a team of stakeholders including Mona Hadler, Professor of Art History and Chair of the Art Department; Annette Danto, the Department Chair of Film and Feirstein’s Graduate School of Cinema; Alan Gilbert, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration; Anthony Brown, Chief Diversity Office, as well as the Office of the President. Annette Danto (left), Department Chair of Film and Feirstein’s Graduate School of Cinema, stands with Mona Hadler, Professor of Art History and Chair of the Art Department, during an event to celebrate its unveiling on December 14. Hadler said the project started years ago with a conversation between her and Gilbert about how to beautify the campus. The idea of a mural course arose out of those talks, and the Film Department offered their walls for the first mural on campus planned and executed in this way. “This new experimental mural course in the Art Department was designed to enliven the campus, build connections between departments and schools, as well as provide needed preprofessional training for art majors,” Hadler said. “This project gave students real hands-on experience through an important project that people will enjoy for years on campus.” Danto agreed that it was a perfect collaboration, livening up the Film Department space while offering students an incredible experience. The mural itself highlights the craft of film production—specifically the importance of cameras, sound, and post-production in the filmmaking process. It was developed from both student-artists and from general feedback gathered from Film Department students, faculty, and staff. “We had wanted to paint our walls for some time,” Danto said. “At some point Mona and I spoke, and she mentioned the Art Department had an experimental mural course that they wanted to offer. I suggested that the Film Department and our 2nd floor W.E.B. walls might be a suitable location for the mural. Everything really moved forward once Julia (Cocuzza) got on board as the instructor and leant her expertise.” Derrick Adams, an accomplished mural artist and Professor of Art who served as an advisor on the mural project, addresses the audience on December 14. Fine Arts major Elizabeth Li worked on the mural and said it added to her passion for mural painting. “In the beginning, the project was a challenge because we had to get our designs approved by various departments. However, once the design sketch was approved, the class instantly became my favorite,” Li said. “Professor Cocuzza was very understanding and open to hearing our thoughts. Because of this course, I relearned how fun it is to work with others, because you share your ‘mistakes’ and combine your style with others. The chill atmosphere and collaborating through the imperfections of the creative process is what I find most addicting about mural painting. After this, I want to continue painting murals.” Adam Schrader is a B.F.A. student who also has experience as a journalist. Schrader not only helped with the painting of the mural, but was also tasked with interviewing students from the Film Department and attending departmental classes during the research phase to create a plan for the mural. “The entire process was fascinating, and I think I have a great knowledge base to develop my own community mural in the future, from the research and design phase to what paints and materials to use,” Schrader said. “Overall, I’m very happy with how our class worked together to make a mural for our community at Brooklyn College.” Hadler said she hopes similar projects are possible in the future. “The work is the result of a marvelous collaboration and a model for ongoing public art projects and murals that we hope will be the first of many on the campus,” said Hadler.