Student revamps Lion’s Den Game Room with themed artwork.

Senior art student Naomi Mongosa decorates the walls outside the Lion’s Den Game Room with artwork. Mongosa began painting the walls June 8.

by Life Editor Melissa Parker

Students returning to class may notice something different about The Lion’s Den Game Room. During the summer, the game room underwent a makeover in the hopes of drawing in more students.

Senior Administrative Assistant of University Events Gigi Broadway proposed the idea of redoing the game room to Brett Jennings, Director of University Events, to make it a more relaxing, fun environment for students to pass the time in.

Broadway said she approached the Chair of the Art Department Chiong-Yiao Chen in search of an art student to paint murals on the walls outside of the game room.

Broadway said she felt having students involved in the redecorating process would make the game room more inviting for the campus community and give students a sense of ownership.

“We want to increase the attendance in the game room,” she said. “We want to make it something that’s theirs.”

Junior Ed Sparks said he is impressed with the artwork and happy with the changes so far.

“They’re doing really good incorporating the students and making it more fun for us,” he said.

Chen recommended senior Naomi Mongosa as the student for the job.

Chen said seniors understand the need for involvement in the community and she encourages them to seek any opportunities to share their art with the public.

She knew Naomi was reliable because of her level of skill and maturity, she said.

“She can do anything well,” she said. “She’s a mature painter and she can apply her creativity into any kind of theme or subject demand.”

Mongosa said Broadway told her the project would involve the mascots and a video game theme, which was perfect for her.

“I have my own website where I’m pretty well-known on the Internet for doing video game art,” she said.

Mongosa drew the renderings for the murals and everyone loved them, Broadway said.

Mongosa said she started the painting process June 8 and often spent six to eight hours a day in the GUC working on the project.

Free-handing the pictures on a larger scale such as this takes more time and more patience, she said.

“I grid it out to make sure everything is proportionate,” she said.

She said she measures the wall space, grids it out on Photoshop and then grids it out on the wall. It is a lot like one of those ‘draw what you see’ pieces seen in a coloring book.

Mongosa said she has been drawing and painting since she was a child.

“This is what I want to do,” she said. “This is what makes me happy.”

Chen said she hopes other students see how well Mongosa has done and are inspired by her to seek more art opportunities.

Broadway said the public response to the murals has been amazing.

Sodexo employee Marisa Holland said she thinks Mongosa has done a great job.

“It looks really good,” she said.

In addition to the murals, there are new pictures on the walls and new furniture as well.

“It was all just an idea to get more personality into the game room, pull some more people in and to get the students vested,” Broadway said.

Sophomore Jeff Hodge said the artwork caught his eye.

“It makes people want to go in and try everything out,” he said.