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Game on: Lyon students create esports mural

Lyon art students (from left) Rachel Tyler, Aria Switzer, Tatum Florendo and Abigail Rutter completed a mural for the Esports Room in the Mabee-Simpson Library.



Lyon students learned that video games aren’t the only thing that require strategy.

Art students Rachel Tyler, Tatum Florendo, Aria Switzer and Abigail Rutter recently completed a mural for the Esports Room in the Mabee-Simpson Library.

Tyler said this was the group’s first project for their murals class, introducing them to the process.

“I wouldn’t have thought before that there was much more to mural-making than simply painting on a wall,” she said, laughing, “but we learned a lot more than that.”

“It was a bit surreal,” said Florendo. “I only recently discovered my love for art, and it’s such a blessing to be able to share that love with the Lyon community.”

The first step, Tyler said, was to get a feel for what the Lyon Esports team wanted, which included researching gaming-related topics for ideas. The biggest challenge was figuring out the design.

“It’s something the Esports team would see everyday, so we had to be sure it stayed true to the theme of the space and suited the environment,” Tyler said. 

Florendo said they made sure to include characters from all of the games that the Esports team plays competitively.

“We wanted to make a mural that would be inclusive of a variety of video games,” Rutter said, “so that everyone could leave with a little bit of happiness.”

She continued, “Even if you aren’t knowledgeable about esports and the games they play, we were able to include iconic characters such as Mario, Kirby and Diddy Kong that anyone can recognize.”

In total, Tyler said the project took two months to complete.

“This mural was the first one I had ever worked on, so it was intimidating at first,” she said. “It became more and more exciting as we began to build our vision for it.”

She continued, “Now that it’s finished, I’m thrilled about how it turned out. It’s surreal to think about how people can and do see our mural every day just passing through the Esports Room.”

“This mural is dynamic and captures the spirit of the burgeoning Esports program,” said Professor of Art Dustyn Bork. “The students did excellent work creating a mural representing the various aspects of the team, but they also made it come to life with the 3-D aspects, seemingly breaking out of the pictorial space.”

Switzer said working on the mural is an experience she will never forget.

“It was sometimes long hours, but it only felt like minutes with all the music and talks between the group,” she said. “It was very inspiring to work with other artists on campus that are so driven and talented in not only art, but in everything they put their minds to.”

Tyler agreed, saying her favorite part was working with Switzer, Florendo and Rutter on the project. 

“Working with a team that was equally as excited and dedicated really made the difference,” Tyler said, “from this being just another art class to a project I am very proud and grateful to have been a part of.” 

“I think that this mural is something that will truly be loved for many years,” said Rutter, “because of the hard work my classmates and I were able to put in!”