ngai island

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Rafi the flying Rhino

Victo Ngai

I was asked by Robert Gilbane from Gilbane Development Company to create a 5x6′ lobby piece for their new student dormitory - 275 Thayer Street at Providence, Rhode Island. Being a RISD grad who took classes at Brown University, the project was very close to my heart. 

I have Rafi the Rhino, mascot of 275 Thayer, flying through the sky with Brown’s historic green on his back. The center of the green has been turned into a football field with players from the 1930’3 and 50’s shown in uniform. Rafi is shown being greeted by a host of Brown alum, friends, professors and students. Rafi’s escort is led by Dean Barrett Hazeltine and Tom Cookman ’72. Standing between Rafi’s ears is Dave Zucconi ’58. The international entourage of Bengal tigers, Chinese dragon, Russian eagles and birds of paradise represent students from different countries and cultures

It was a great and fun challenge incorporating 20 portraits in this piece. Big thanks to Bob Gilbane for this project and Gordon’s ink for the beautiful print job! Go check out the piece if you ever find yourself in Providence, RI!