On Nov. 4, as part of the 125th Anniversary celebration of Rollins College, the school will release a photo mosaic representing Rollins, created by Cecil Mack, a Hamilton Holt graduate student and alumnus of Rollins College Arts & Sciences. A photo mosaic is typically a collection of thousands of photographs into what appears to be an identifiable image at a distance. In this case, each picture is of some moment in the history of Rollins College including pictures of buildings, alumni, and past events.
Mack has worked on the mosaic for over a year. He gathered pictures from the historical archives, alumni relations, and personal donations from students and faculty; in total, he collected over 3000 images. Of the original photographs collected, approximately 2000 made it into the mosaic. The mosaic could be created with just a few hundred, but this would mean more repeats and would make the final product less dynamic.
Mack found that the “next hardest part of the project was choosing the big picture.”
As all the photographs must fit somewhere in the final product, color selection is so important when designing a concept. Because there was no single image that existed at the right angles to some historical photographs I wanted to use, a commissioned painting was completed by Bianca Roman- Stumpff.”
The painting was used to complete the final design with the influences of historical photographs as a reference.
Although it has required a lot of work, Mack loved having the opportunity to work with a variety of departments in and outside of Rollins. “I have spoken to so many people that either are attending or previously attended Rollins, and you make the connection that the school is not about the establishment, it is about the people. Over my years as an undergrad, I appreciated my school; however, it was only when I came back as a grad student that I realized what kind of opportunities I had here. I really love history and to bring photographs of the new with the old, combined with the collaboration of so many talented people to something that as far as I know has never been done before, may be something worth mentioning.”
Mack wanted a way to show his thanks for the opportunity to study abroad on scholarship during his time as an undergraduate at Rollins College. After talking to the right people, he realized that creating a mosaic for the college would be the best expression of thanks.
With his project coming to a close, Mack would like to thank a few individuals without whose help the mosaic would never have been completed. Therefore, big thanks to Sharon Carrier of Alumni Relations, Olin Library Archives Director Wenxian Zhang, Bianca Roman- Stumpff, Omar Brown, and Doubletake Images CEO Roy Feinson.