Current VPA News

By Cyndi Mortiz

Syracuse University design students will soon have the opportunity to showcase their skills in a big visual way. The Connective Corridor, in partnership with the School of Design in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, is calling for student proposals for a two-part mural to be installed on the exterior of The Nancy Cantor Warehouse in downtown Syracuse.

The contest is open to all current students enrolled in School of Design programs at The Warehouse, including communication design, industrial and interaction design, environmental and interior design, fashion design, M.F.A. collaborative design and M.S. museum studies.

The two parts of the mural consist of the large horizontal wall facing West Street at the gateway to Armory Square and a smaller wall at the Washington Street entrance to the building.

Applicants are invited to submit work based on principles of creative placemaking. Designs should reflect student creativity and connectivity in ways that help the community see how students and programs in The Warehouse are infusing the city with life.

The winning student or team will receive $1,500 and have their work professionally installed.

“The Warehouse is the home of SU’s School of Design which is a creative collaborative community,” says James W.R Fathers, Iris Magidson Endowed Chair of Design Leadership and chair of the School of Design. “This project gives the entire Syracuse community the opportunity to see the high caliber of professional design going on in the building, as well as how good design can enliven the urban landscape.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their work,” says the University's Vice President for Community Engagement and Economic Development, Marilyn Higgins. “It’s exciting to see the Connective Corridor infused with student design work, which has been the goal of this project. Design students have worked on façade improvement and lighting projects along the streetscape, along with bus stop signage. This new project will continue to activate the corridor through creative placemaking.”

The project is being managed by Quinton Fletchall ’13, G’15, who works for Syracuse University’s Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development as a Connective Corridor Engagement Scholar in the role of public art project coordinator. Fletchall is also is a part-time VPA instructor, a current graduate student in the CRS program and a graduate of VPA’s industrial and interaction design program.

“As a former SU design student, I understand the value of applying to design competitions,” says Fletchall. “Contests like this not only provide students an opportunity to produce a great portfolio piece, they are also useful professional learning experiences. I'm happy to be part of a team giving such opportunities to students, and I'm excited to see all the entries.”

Applications are due from students by noon on Feb. 16. Applications may submitted by hand or in PDF form to Quinton Fletchall, Syracuse University Connective Corridor, Warehouse fourth floor, Room 405, or by email to or

The applications will be judged by a panel of University alumni, faculty/staff and community members. The winner will be announced March 2.

The following must be included in the application:

  • Name, program of study, class standing
  • Project description, including artist’s rationale and/or intention for the proposed work
  • Conceptual drawings of proposed artwork and sample rending of graphic style
  • Drawings or images showing artwork in relation to the dedicated walls
  • Description of material and application process
  • Example of any relevant past work completed by the artist (past experience is not required)

To download Adobe Illustrator templates of the walls, visit:

For more information, contact Fletchall at