November 15, 2010
For Cecil Mack III (Class of 2008 ’11MA), creating a photo mosaic for Rollins was a combination of passion, preparation and opportunity. When he received his first camera at the age of eight, Mack began a lifelong love affair with photography. In high school, he and his friends would venture to Rollins on Sundays and photograph the quiet campus, which he quickly came to love and in which he would later enroll to receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
While a student, he began work at Doubletake Images, a company that specializes in creating mosaics composed of hundreds of smaller photographs. A couple years ago, Mack took on greater responsibilities, and the creator of Doubletake Roy Feinson offered him the opportunity to create a free mosaic of his choosing. He knew immediately that he wanted to do something in honor of his alma mater.
“Originally, I had the intent of completing a photo mosaic based on a China field study I had participated in during my senior year,” said Mack. “However, due to my recent graduation, the state of the economy and the difficulty of finding work, I found it impossible to tackle such a massive undertaking.”
This year, after enrolling in the Master of Arts in Teaching program, Mack revisited the idea of completing the mosaic. He learned from Professor and Head of Archives & Special Collections Wenxian Zhang, who had co-led his field study, that Rollins was celebrating its 125th Anniversary. Zhang contributed many of the historical photos from the College Archives that Mack combined with more recent photos of faces and places of Rollins.
After discussing designs with Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Sharon Carrier, Mack knew that the overall image would need to be something iconic and would need to connect the students, faculty and staff of Rollins’ past and present. As a result, he decided on Mills Memorial Hall because of its physical and functional centrality. Over the years, Mills has served as a library, office space and, currently, as a resource center. He added, “The lawn also the location of Fox Day, which had been the highlight of my first year at Rollins.”
Mack commissioned local artist Bianca Roman-Stumpff to paint a Van Gogh-esque portrait of Mills Memorial Hall, complete with Mills lawn and a pair of students sitting on a bench. As a finishing touch, he added the icon of the beloved Rollins’ holiday—the fox.
“What I really loved about the project is how it connected the new with the old,” said Mack. “The image of Mills Memorial Hall as an establishment is not what makes up Rollins College to me. It’s the people who have come here, who are here now and who will one day come here. We are enriched by the places we go and the people we meet, and I think a mosaic captures that idea perfectly.”
The final 6’ by 4’ mosaic—which took countless hours over the course of several months to complete—was unveiled on Founders’ Day, Thursday, November 4, 2010, in celebration of the College’s 125 anniversary. It is currently on display in the Alumni House, but eventually will have a permanent home on campus.
By Laura J. Cole
Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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