Home Lifestyle Student constructs mural in multicultural lounge to celebrate influential figures

Student constructs mural in multicultural lounge to celebrate influential figures

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The mural by Celica Ledesma in the Honors College depicts slogans such as 'TEXAS STATE DOESN'T HATE!' and 'AMERICA NOT AMERIKKKA'. In light of recent events, these messages are even more relevant as the fall 2017 semester begins.
Photo by Robert Black | Staff Photographer

A 12.5-by-13.5-foot mural titled “Texas State Doesn’t Hate” now hangs in the recently opened Honors College Multicultural Lounge. The mural, painted by a Pan-African Action Committee member, features prominent figures from the Texas State community.

Leaders of the Pan-African Action Committee envisioned the Honors College Multicultural Lounge and Black Student’s Resource Library to be a place for peace, remembrance and connectivity.

Celica Ledesma, studio art sophomore, said she kept this in mind when she was charged with creating artwork for the space.

“To me it represents people coming together,” Ledesma said, speaking of her mural. “And I wanted to show a positive message of Texas State.”

Inspired by the unity and bravery of students at the protest by the stallions Nov. 10, 2016, Ledesma said she hopes to memorialize the event by highlighting figures from the protest. She said the protest was made up of students from various backgrounds, views and cultures protesting hate-speech and discrimination.

“That day just felt hopeful,” Ledesma said. “Even though people said it was stupid to have a protest, I think it was important because people engaged in conversation.”

Victoria Ramos, photography junior, photographed the protest and later created a book of the images for her photography class.

“(The images) convey this scenario that young people have a voice too and that we are the next generation, and that we have to keep fighting for what we believe in,” Ramos said.

Ledesma’s mural is comprised of images from Ramos’ book. The book is currently displayed next to the mural.

Cameron Hubbard, electronic media junior, is one of the leaders of PAAC who helped generate ideas for the mural. Leaders of PAAC envisioned a space that accurately represents and celebrates the diversity at Texas State and hope that the mural accentuates these goals.

“(Cecilia) grasped pictures of different cultures, people with different ideas and totally different views on the way they live and how they perceive things during a time of tension at Texas State,” Hubbard said. “When you walk in and see the mural you get that feeling that everyone is welcome and every culture is accepted.”

There is one figure represented on the mural that is not from the protest. Ledesma decided to pay tribute to late student, Travis Green. Ledesma was disturbed by the limited coverage of Green’s life and death and felt a connection to him.

“I know some people think that being an artist means revealing the truth to things, but it is really hard because you are constantly battling with society, and then you just want to get away,” Ledesma said. “For him, I wanted him to be remembered.”

Ledesma and fellow members of PAAC hope that the mural will serve as a springboard to continue the conversation about racial justice, immigration, and gender equality for Bobcats for years to come.

“We’re all college students at the end of the day,” Hubbard said. “We don’t need to hate on each other. The more we bring each other together, the more we get done.”

The Honors College Multicultural Lounge and Black Student’s Resource Library will have its official opening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 14. in Lampasas 500.

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