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Students Add Cova Hotel Mural to SF's Public Art Cityscape

The recently dedicated mural, produced by students of the Academy of Art Schools of Fine Art and Illustration, is an eight-story exercise in how the university relates to its San Francisco home. All members of Fine Art faculty member Carol Nunnelly’s mural class, the students took on a sizable challenge when the Cova Hotel’s owner, Simon Sin, decided to treat the neighborhood to an ambitious treat: a vibrant mural that covers almost an entire side of the hotel.

Sin, who studied in the Academy’s School of Advertising, has partnered with Nunnelly and Academy of Art students on public murals before. He’d worked with new Illustration grad Xialou (Lulu) Lin, who designed the mural, and had admired her clean concepts with bold colors and an Art Deco feel.

Graphical Complement
Travel and aviation are featured at this tourist hotel—its meeting room has ’60s-era airplane seats and travel posters. So it’s fitting that the new outdoor mural has a wanderlust vibe, with a jet, silhouettes of iconic San Francisco’s iconic structures and a savvy traveler admiring it all.

Altogether, nine alumni/students (graduated in June 2018) worked on the mural:
• Karin Alterman (School of Illustration)
• Yoo Seon Choi (School of Fine Art)
• Xiaolu (Lulu) Lin (Illustration)
• Mykaela McGrew (Fine Art)
• Laine Renfro (Illustration)
• Tao Sang (Fine Art)
• Vaness Thach (Fine Art)
• Stanley Valentinus Senjaya (Illustration)
• Benjamin Yu (Fine Art)

At the Dedication
At the dedication ceremony, Nunelly underscored how student mural projects embody the university’s commitment to the community: “Students from Academy of Art University are devoted to using their talents to enhance the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Our murals—including ‘The Jazz Club’ for Uptown Tenderloin, a mural for Firehouse #1, and Pacific Gas & Electric [PG&E] panels that depict the history of the Tenderloin—are examples of hand-painted work that seek to beautify, uplift, and help the community. I am so proud of our student graduates. They have enhanced their skills and learned and grown as artists thanks to Simon’s mural project.”

Rebecca Delgado Rottman, who retired this year as the Academy’s vice president for community and government affairs, seconded: “Murals tell stories. These stories are about the neighborhoods the mural are located in and are a way for students to give back and use their skills. They have heart and are not getting paid, so the work they do is a way for them to learn the business of art production on a team and to get a portfolio in large-scale work.”

Art University

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