The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB) is an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space open to community members’ proposals for alternative educational and cultural programming.

MLAB is the collaborative effort of the 2007-2008 Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission was to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. MLAB serves as a physical manifestation of Syracuse University’s Scholarship in Action initiative, by pairing University resources with community needs in an attempt to address the staggering drop out rates in the Syracuse City School District High Schools. Through the School of Education at Syracuse University, incredible curricula that bridge photography, poetry and literacy currently exist within the public schools-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. MLAB is this space. The bus serves as a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center. As a team, we did it all: demolition, design, and construction.

MLAB is made possible from the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University and Entitiative.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


A many thanks to all of our volunteers who have made a huge impact on helping towards the big preview this week! We can't thank you enough, thanks again to all for your help and support!!!

We had an incredibly busy day today. At one point, I think we had a dozen people doing various tasks. These are just some of them:
(I know I'm going to leave things out, so please add on...)
Ramp unrolled and set up
Major upoholstering (only two left... Thanks Anita and Ms. Harmon!)
Cushions affixed to wood backing/faces
Agreggate door installed
Super ceiling installed
Dozens of ceiling tiles sorted and cleaned!

Again, thanks to all that have those that have helped out. We couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Red Pillows

Let's all bring a red pillow to sit on at our table!
Apparently there will be name tags but no assigned tables so first one there - grab us an MLAB table!

Chancellor's Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship

Here is a link to the press release with the announcement containing the award our class recieved.

SU News

Also, updates on cushions:

Thanks to Charlotte and Yoni who did a knock out job on helping out. And a GENERAL OVER ALL THANK YOU TO ALL VOLUNTEERS! You are making a big difference, your help means so much to us and the project! THANKS!

The cushions are coming along! They are gorgeous and red and very comfy and textured. Thanks to Stephanie Liner for her help and master class on upholstery!
We're at about a half way point, and working towards the preview!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dress Rehearsal Monday March 31st

Who can do/wants to do a dress rehearsal/ drive over to Nottingham High School Monday morning with the RV. 9am.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Things are starting to come together...
Saturday night:
Monday Night:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

final poster card invitation

it's the final poster card look. front and back. and from the request of Jessica, i also repost the french maid card.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Final ceiling configuration... only took 4 tries!
Off to the laser cutter...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

shameless self-promotion

Come to an opening for "House Self House" - two person show with Marion Wilson and Michael Burkard tomorrow night at RedHouse. Curated by Dave Clayton - part of Third Thursday. Don't work - come hang out and look at art - you can meet my dad! 5-8pm, food and drink, bring friends.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Post Card New LOOK

Three New LOOK

post card invitation

here is a basic look for the postcard invitation.

please let me know what do you think and what can i make it better!!



Friday, March 14, 2008

Building off the good news of M-Lab receiving the Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement, I thought I’d just let everyone know I’ve been selected as a 2008 Syracuse Scholars. I know the M-Lab project is probably one of the primary reasons I was selected, so I owe you all a huge Thanks!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

MLAB wins Chancellor's Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship

The MLAB Team/ "Social Sculpture" has received a Chancellor's Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship for "outstanding work in improving the quality of life in the greater Syracuse community." "This award is give each year to a class that exemplifies the highest ideal of sustained, quality engagement with citizens in our community."

The Awards will be given at the Chancellor's Award dinner on Monday, March 31st in the Goldstein Auditorium at 5:30pm. Please let me know if you can make it and I can reserve a table.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Unveiling of the Pilot April 3rd 8:30 am at Nottingham HS

Vince and I went to Nottingham High School today for a meeting to plan the April 3rd donor event. I am trying to get them to word it in the press release as an unveiling of the pilot - to keep expectations in check - and so there is the understanding that parts are a work in progress. All seemed willing and excited.

The RV will drive up to the front of Nottingham at 7:30 am on April 3rd and we will set it up. The guests will arrive at 8:30. The Thursday before (the 27th) we will do a mock drive over at 9am to see that it all fits and works. I scheduled this during class time and not everyone needs to go on the 27th - maybe one or two people - as there will be plenty to do back at the shop.

I hope that everyone can come on the April 3rd - even if you have not been around much this semester! Two or three students will likely do the public speaking again - but they want all of you to do the touring of the bus and showing the donors, the Chancellor and the school district kids around the bus. Please confirm that you will be there that morning.

Also any help anyone can give us from March 20-April 3rd would be appreciated. We will be charrette-ing around the clock (ceiling installation, upholstering, cabinet fabrication and staining, cleaning the cab, setting up and testing the ramp, finishing electrical) for those last two weeks. Check with the blog for jobs. Thanks and hope you are all well! I know you are busy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I took the liberty to restore the blog, more or less to the previous layout. I couldn't remember exactly what it was before, so I pulled the colors off of vince's website mock up.

Monday, March 3, 2008

New Look?

Use this post for constructive criticism of our new look....