Mural Mania: Art Student Brings New Life to a New Space

This past spring, the Office of Student Life hosted a contest and invited students to submit their ideas to redecorate the Club Hub, one of the newest and most exciting features of Stony Brook’s Student Union. 

The Union’s Club Hub is an all-purpose game room, consisting of old-school arcade activities — pool, air hockey and even a basketball machine — as well as new school video game consoles like Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5. Located on the lower level, the Club Hub is designed to be a social space close to the action of campus, where students can unwind, take a break from studying, or hang out with friends after a long day of classes.

Students play games inside the Club Hub.

Rico Maxino, the contest winner and student artist behind the spirited mural, is a rising senior majoring in Media/Arts/Culture with a minor in Digital Arts, Studio Arts, and Japanese Studies. He participates in many clubs and organizations on campus, including SBUHacks, a 24-hour competition to foster innovation and growth on personal projects. His mural prominently features Stony Brook’s mascot, Wolfie, surrounded by cartoon-esque drawings of students and campus buildings.

“I hope people who see the mural are able to understand the vibe of the Club Hub: a relaxing place to chill and hang out while still maintaining that Stony Brook vibe, but also offering some new visual themes,” Maxino said. “Wolfie’s here to vibe, and we’re all here to have a good time.” (Filled with bright colors and unique patterns, the mural surely brings that inviting “vibe” to the Hub!)

The Club Hub project started in 2021 when former Student Centers Director Howie Gunston first envisioned using the space as a game and recreational space for students and the community. Director Gunston started the first phase of the project prior to his departure from the department. When Ric McClendon, assistant vice president and dean of students arrived on campus, he had big dreams when envisioning the new possibilities of Club Hub. Not only did he oversee the current transformation of the Club Hub, Dean Ric also created “First Fridays at the Club Hub” this year to promote student engagement in the new space. On every first Friday of the month, the Office of Student Life encourages students to hang out at the hub, with free food and video game tournaments. To McClendon, this artistic mural put the finishing touches to that vision.

Students gather inside the Club Hub.

“The creation of the mural brings attention to the game room as “THE” social hangout space for campus life,” said McClendon. “The mural draws on elements of how beautiful our campus is and it highlights the spirit and pride we have as Seawolves.” 

The mural is part of a campus-wide beautification initiative to feature the creativity of student artists. More artwork is scheduled to be featured in various buildings around campus, including the Stony Brook Union and the LGBTQ* Center. Additionally, winners from the annual Student Affairs Art Competition will be featured in the Office of Student Life conference room for the 2023-2024 academic year. If Maxino’s mural is any indication of the talent of Stony Brook’s students, campus will look a lot brighter (and even MORE beautiful) come the Fall of 2023.

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