Student-Made Mural Adds Visual Ambience to UNA’s Mane Room Performance Center Downtown
Dec. 13, 2013
By Hannah Mask, Student Writer
FLORENCE, Ala. – The Department of Entertainment Industry at the University of North Alabama continues to enhance and upgrade the look and atmosphere of its state-of-the-art performance venue.
A new, student-made wall mural was unveiled today inside The Mane Room, the performance hall located in the department’s headquarters at the intersection of Pine and Tombigbee streets in downtown Florence.
UNA art major Jordan Weisenauer spent much of the fall semester painting a large-scale mural on a wooden arch measuring 10-feet tall by 32-feet wide. The mural is temporarily displayed on the side wall of The Mane Room as audiences arrive inside the facility from the main entrance on Pine Street.
Once additional funding is secured, plans call for the mural to be permanently positioned as an interior wall dividing the Mane Room lobby from the 450-seat-capacity performance hall where concerts, classes, lectures, panel discussions and other Entertainment Industry events are regularly presented.
“Jordan is an incredibly talented young man with a unique style and a bright future ahead of him,” says Chuck Craig, graphic designer for the UNA Office of Communications and Marketing. “This mural was part of his senior project, and it’s a wonderful way of combining art, music and the entertainment industry here at UNA.”
Weisenauer – a 23-year-old senior from Indianapolis, Indiana – will receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the university during fall commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in Flowers Hall. The artist – who studied painting under UNA art professor John Turner – said the inspiration for the mural came in the form of his favorite aspects of the Shoals, such as O’Neal Bridge and the local music scene.
“There’s just so much great music in this town,” Weisenauer said. “Any time you go downtown, there’s always someone playing music. I love it.”
Weisenaeur’s friends, teachers and mentors – along with representative figures from the local music scene – are featured on the mural. The artist also depicted influences from his favorite television show: Silvatore Dante, a mafia character from HBO’s The Sopranos, leans next to the walkway as though he were a bodyguard.
“I wanted the bodyguard to look really tough,” Weisenauer said.
UNA President Dr. William G. Cale called the student mural project an ideal illustration of the university’s fundamental mission.
“One of our main goals is to provide opportunities for our students, and this is one of the opportunities has been created,” Cale said. “Another thing that we do is to create synergy. This is an excellent example of the synergy that can occur when people and programs work together. In this case, we have synergy between Jordan, The Mane Room, the Entertainment Industry program, the art department and the music and arts community.”
The UNA Department of Entertainment Industry moved to the Tombigbee Street facility in July 2012. A $5,000 community-development grant, facilitated by State Sen. Tammy Irons, D-Florence, has covered some of the costs of upgrading parts of the building. Plans call for enhanced outside lighting and a decorative gate at The Mane Room’s Pine Street entrance.
“Downtown Florence is exploding,” Garfrerick said. “It just so happens that the department moved as it was happening organically.”
High-resolution photos of today's mural unveiling are available for media use on the UNA Gallery at: