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Graduate Hotel mural depicts message of unity and ‘being enough

by on December 12, 2019 11:41 AM

STATE COLLEGE — When you pass by the Graduate Hotel on South Atherton Street, it’s nearly impossible to miss the wall of shimmering colors that depict a blend of merging, symmetrical faces.

Together, these elements form William Snyder III’s most recent mural, “We Are All One,” and add more than a little color and inspiration to the otherwise bland State College walls.

The mural’s title plays off Penn State’s iconic “We Are” chant while conveying an authentic and relevant message of unity to the State College community.

Recently hired by 3D Sculpture Worx, a State College design studio, Snyder works as both a designer to meet clients’ needs and an artist to create personal pieces.

“This is kind of a dream opportunity for me to be a paid artist,” Snyder said. “Not many people have that opportunity.”

Snyder’s portfolio consists of many unique pieces including murals, portraits, sketches and even large sculptures. His public art in State College include the mural completed this summer on the Pugh Street Garage, “Wild Geese” on Humes Alley and “Be” behind the State Theatre.

A common thread in his work is the inclusion of bright colors.

For Snyder, inspiration stems from a wide variety of things: poems, friends, stories, music and even issues occurring around the world. He relates his work to a puzzle — there’s always something new and unique to work on and being able to connect it all is a special experience. “I’m not the kind of artist who just sits in the studio and paints the same kinds of things or draws the same kinds of things,” he said. “I generally respond to an opportunity with the fullness of what I can bring.”

Snyder earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative arts in 2003 and an MFA in 2006 from Penn State.

During his graduate school years, Snyder drew inspiration from his professor, Lonnie Graham, whose mentorship and work with community engagement have inspired Snyder throughout his career. Snyder wrote a thesis on the Rwandan genocide and helped fund the construction of a well in Rwanda.


Lauren Wysseier is a Penn State student and writer for Onward State.
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