Spotlight on Lexi Hannah, student muralist

Science student turned professional visual artist, senior Lexi Hannah lives a life of artistic creation and expression. Working multiple commissions ranging from murals, to magazine covers, to graphic novels, she is well within her element.Hannah’s concentrations in her artistic studies include painting with watercolor, egg tempera, printmaking and jewelry and metals. She painted her first mural in Geneseo’s Intramurals office in Fall 2012. “All day and all night, I was painting,” Hannah said. “One day I was on the ladder for 14 hours and didn’t realize that I hadn’t gotten down. I realized I was so happy to be doing what I was doing.” This experience brought her to painting murals at a bed-and-breakfast in Italy and a church in Albany, and she will soon be redoing the murals in the Merritt and Schrader gymnasiums. In addition to her murals, Hannah has also completed various graphic design projects for Geneseo. Hannah’s art places a noticeable focus on color, and her pieces tend to be bright and saturated. She likens bright color in a piece to focusing on the best in the world, taking reality and showing it in an even better light. Outside of her commissioned work, Hannah said her personal artwork often shares themes of humans’ connections with one another and how, using our differences, we can help each other to grow. Hannah has a lifelong background in the arts as a whole, having grown up in a large family of musicians, actors and artists. She said that, while growing up, she would spend much of her time in her room creating something. The arts followed Hannah to high school, where she painted solely for herself but did not take it seriously. It was not her plan to develop her career in the arts when she entered college, as she instead focused on her studies of natural sciences. “I came to Geneseo and was so unwilling to say ‘I’m an artist’ because it sounded like saying ‘I’m not smart, but I can doodle,’” Hannah said. “I would get sick every winter, and I would have to withdraw early. It happened twice. I realized that I was overworking myself, not doing what I was supposed to be doing.” In the summer of 2012, Hannah took Western Humanities I abroad with professor of philosophy Elias Savellos. It was during this course that she learned what the study of art history entails and decided to pursue it instead of science. When she returned to Geneseo for the fall semester, she changed her major to art history in the studio art track. Having discovered her calling as an artist, Hannah holds the arts on a level of importance that is above financial or job security. “Even in Florence, they’re having cuts in art programs,” Hannah said. “It’s funny because I feel that people maybe think that, career-wise, it’s not a guarantee. But what about being a decent human being? What about being happy?”