RACHEL SIFORD / THE STATESMAN
Student volunteers and coordinators will be transforming the Tabler Steps into a Steinway Grand Piano  with paint. The beautification project, intended to encourage discussion among Tabler quad residents, will be completed in April. RACHEL SIFORD  / THE STATESMAN

The Tabler Steps Piano Project will transform the bottom section of the concrete steps into a public piece of art by painting the steps to resemble a Steinway Grand Piano.

The project, which is set to be completed during the month of April, is student based, with student volunteers and coordinators.

“The painting will only occur on weekends to allow students to focus on painting and not classes,” Naveen Mallangada, a sophomore biology major and the creator and coordinator for the Tabler Steps Piano Project, said.

The steps will be painted with black and white outdoor paint. Gold spray paint will be used for the railings and safety lines on each leading step.

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“It’s all a matter of students painting the steps as a part of a quad beautification event,” Mallangada said.

The piano-painted steps will stick out like a sore-thumb, but that is the intention.

“I think that the piano steps will create a discussion about our quad,” Kristina London, a senior psychology major and resident of Tabler Quad, said.

The painted steps would better represent the arts, culture, and humanities aspect of the quad, according to Mallangada. “It’s an amazing way to incorporate art in everyday life,” he said. Students in Tabler Quad already have positive reactions to the project.

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“It would definitely show people that we’re an artsy quad,”  Jenni Yang, a freshman linguistics major and a resident of Tabler Quad, said. “I think it’ll probably be known as the Tabler Piano Steps once it’s finished.”

The steps, when finished, will create interactive art that students will use on a day-to-day basis.

“It impacts us psychologically, emotionally and adds a sense of whimsy and fun rather than the plain concrete that’s there now,” Mallangada said. He also added that the project could be finished in one-to-two days, but in order to account for weather, they are spreading the project out.

The damage that happened to the stairs during this long winter is currently being fixed by maintenance. Painting can start as soon as this weekend.

The stairs will be painted one half at a time, separated by the middle railing. The half that is being worked on will be closed and taped off while the other section is left open for pedestrian traffic.

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The steps are used as the pedestrian entrance into Tabler Quad, leading students in the direction of the Tabler Center for Arts, Culture, and Humanities, better known as the TAC.

“I want this to be something that the whole quad could focus on and come together for,” Mallangada said. “The paint will most likely need to be touched up every spring,” he said, which will add a new tradition to Tabler.

Mallangada originally took the idea to the RHD at Toscanini College, Megan Cale, who then introduced it to the other RHDs and Judy Jaquez, the Tabler Quad Director.

“They were all for it and so enthusiastic that someone wanted to change something about Tabler,” Mallangada said.

Cale and Jaquez were not available in time to comment on the project for this article. The project is currently being paid for by the Dreiser College Hall Council and the Toscanini College Hall Council.

Mallangada also had overwhelming student support while getting the Tabler Steps Piano Project approved.

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“I had about five sheets of signed petitions, which is around 150 students showing their approval for the project,” he said. “I think that it will definitely appeal to people who don’t use art because you don’t need experience in art to be involved.”

The project has already has 21 student volunteers.  Once painted, the steps will change the way Tabler Quad is represented to the rest of Stony Brook University.

“It would get the concept of our quad being artistic back into conversations, since you don’t really hear about it after freshman year,” Suha Sheikh, a senior biology major and a resident of Tabler Quad, said.

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