The wall no longer such a barrier

The Davis Center has long been criticized for its sterility and, for lack of a better word, flavor. Well no longer, because thanks to WRUV, a new mural is nearing completion located on the first floor of the Davis Center. The colorful mural is inviting to all who pass the pool tables and comfy chairs that outline the game area and fireplace lounge. Sole creator and artist, Dan LeFran??ois is very happy with his nearly completed artwork. “I am really happy about it …it’s looking good to me and I think it brings a good feeling to the people in the building who hear about it and see it, bringing attention to the good points of UVM, like the radio station. I get a lot of love from doing it,” he said. Trained at the New England School of Design in Boston, LeFran??ois has continued his artistic abilities in theater work primarily, most recently set art and stage carpentry. In a response to a mural contest held by WRUV early last year, LeFran??ois submitted his sketch of a mural idea to the judges and was handpicked by them for the project. “I’m a musician myself, I play guitar. I play in a band called the Parts, its an experimental kind of band … trying to be a lot of different things,” LeFran??ois said.Words such as “diversity,” “non-corporate” and “creative” were the chief phrases that served as major influences in his process to properly depict the station through artistic expression. The mural itself encompasses musical symbolism, faces and environments. Diverse imagery and cultural illustration power the mu?ral. “Miles Davis is the focal point. I picked him because his music is prolific, not just for independent radio – maybe, in a sense, what independent radio is all about, he was breaking all the rules, he speaks to a great freedom,” LeFran??ois said. “He has a great face.” Tribal women sporting eye masks and native garments communally playing a tympani-like drum with mallets meet a faceless but bearded guitar player. A drummer twirls his drumsticks as a Zeus looking figure plays a horn to a yellow-colored moon amongst the clouds. It is vividly apparent that LeFran??ois incorporated diversity into his mural, a trait that describes the array of music one can hear on the radio station. “The mural gives the [Davis] center some color, it gives it a personal touch … its makes it feel lived in,” said LeFran??ois. “It’s good publicity for WRUV, they kind of have a packaging now, a face,” he said, “like an album cover.”