In Spring 09 my Corps class teamed up with Kien Nguyen's class to design a mural for Anthropologie. The Mural was installed in their flagship store in Rockefeller Center. This is a photo of the finished wall when it was moved to the Navy Yard.
The entrance to the Rockefeller Center store. This is the view that countless numbers of people had as they first walked in.
On January 7th, Missy Peltz and her team from Anthropologie paid our Corps class a visit to discuss ideas for the theme of our installation.
By the end, the major notes included: making the ordinary extraordinary, youth perspective, a multilayered feel, incorporate photography, Relate to the Anthropologie aesthetic, vibrancy and color, and reflecting creativity.
The students became the models. We began looking through fashion magazines and art books for inspiration. For two weeks one class would hold photoshoots, and leave the images to inspire the next class.
One the poses were chosen, we began cutting out the figures and playing with scale, masking, and patterns. Patterns in nature and from existing Anthropologie clothing we incorporated into the figures.
Some figures even had two or three separate patterns and we as a group had to choose the one we liked overall. Then each student began designing the space around the figure, once again incorporating these found patterns.
The process was so detail oriented and meticulous that in the end, the design photoshop file, consisted of close to 100 layers and was 500MB in size!
The installation was up from May 6th to the end of June. We made many visits to the store to measure, search for ideas, and to finally install.
From the beginning we had planned to somehow interact with this opening in the wall
Our gigantic, complex design, which saw as many as 18-20 different people working on aspects of it simultaneously.
The students led the initial theme meeting by starting with a general call for ideas. Everything was noted and put into a comprehensive list.
which then led to a democratic round of votes for the 5 most important ideas and themes.
After a few more weeks, The Anthropologie Crew paid us another visit for a final design review.
Everyone was pleased, and minor issues were adressed
Then is was time for work to begin. Between both classes, we all worked 4 afternoons a week for 5 weeks on the painting.
We relied heavily on creative use of our time. Image after image was projected and painted on top of one another.
Kien and I would clean up a lot of the details ensuring that colors and patterns ran together smoothly
The three center panels were by far the busiest
The classes took to the project well, and stayed busy working fast. The mural was easily the most complex work they've done yet, and they knew the payoff would be huge.
Every last bit of wallspace in the Eakins studio was used up for the 96 sq ft Mural.
Once the background was completed, the figures' silhouettes were painted in their places.
complete with another round of projecting...
The dedication in NYC was a huge event. Students and families loaded up on buses to be on site by the store's opening. The Philly Anthropologie/Urban Outfitters team and the press was also on hand to celebrate.
The event lasted two hours. Everyone posed for their relatives.
Shemise next to her figure. Many of my students were Seniors this year, Shemise graduated and went on to NYU to study film.
My Class minus a few students who couldn't attend.
All the designers/painters in one room
I taught my Mural Corps class for 6 years at that point. We've done many projects, and I've seen a lot of kids come, grow up, and move on. This year, most of my class were seniors and I decided that this was the highest note to go out on. I do miss it.
Group pose on the staircase!