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New Look for Late-Night Entertainment Venue

CFA students’ “sky” ceiling brightens BU Central


In the slide show above, watch BU Central’s ceiling being transformed. Photos courtesy of Jessica Glesby (CFA’10)

BU Central has gotten a design makeover, thanks to the creative efforts of a team of BU art students and the support of Back Bay True Value Hardware, which donated paint and materials.

The 10 students began the installation project on April 30, applying what they learned in Site-Specific Art, a College of Fine Arts course taught by Hugh O’Donnell, a CFA professor of painting. The BU Central project was created by two of O’Donnell’s students, who began work on it in September. Previously, art developed in the class has been displayed at the Photonics Center, on T signs at the BU West stop, in the FitRec Center, at Warren Towers, and in Sargent College.

Jessica Glesby (CFA’10), who along with Crystal Connors (CFA’10) came up with the idea for the installation, says the biggest issue at BU Central was the ceiling. The design team worked with BU Central staff and decided on a sky design to lighten the ceiling’s “very low and heavy feeling.”

The student team chose to use the existing grid-like ceiling to create a pixilated look, says Glesby. The team also added elements of “fantastical imaginative birds” to the ceiling, completing the piece.

The students worked for three days removing, painting, and replacing over 1,000 ceiling tiles. Obstacles included inhaling ceiling dust and taking care not to get paint on permanent fixtures. Despite the difficulty of painting the tiles, which have a hole-ridden texture and many cracks and take an hour and a half to dry, the team managed to complete the project on schedule.

Glesby says taking the tiles down helped her learn that “you have muscles you never knew you had.” Reinstalling them “felt like assembling a giant puzzle.”

“The installation overall was a great planning and management experience,” she says. “I am also proud to have given back to the University and transformed a space used by the student body.”

Nicole Rojas can be reached at nrojas@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @nrojas0131.

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