Orange Central Return to Jabberwocky Panelist Discussion

As part of Syracuse University’s Orange Central alumni weekend, Syracuse University Libraries, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and WAER will be hosting an event titled “Return to Jabberwocky” on Saturday, October 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the lower level of Bird Library. The Jab, as it was fondly referred to, was a student-run musical venue that operated in the Kimmel Hall basement from 1969-85. The event on October 30 will feature live music performed by Gary W. Frenay ’07 (Newhouse School) and Arty Lenin, local musicians who performed at the original Jab. It will also include a panel discussion from people involved in operations of the Jab, including:

  • Edward F. Levine ’78 (Newhouse School), former program director at WAER
  • Butch Charles ’81 (College of Arts and Sciences and Newhouse School), former program director at WAER
  • Mitchel Resnick ’76 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), artist who painted original murals which will be on display during the event.
  • David Rezak, former College of Visual and Performing Arts faculty member and founding director of the Bandier Program, as well as key booking agent for Jabberwocky

“The Jab” was a beloved student-run musical campus and community venue, which showcased emerging and well-known local, regional and national musicians, such as Charles Mingus, The Talking Heads, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Bonnie Raitt and Cyndi Lauper.  During the same time period, WAER was completely student-operated with a focus on local programming. Many of the Jab shows were broadcast live on WAER.

“The Jabberwocky was clearly an iconic institution that defined a significant part of the student experience of the time,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “In collaboration with our campus partners, we are pleased to host this event, which  I’m sure will bring back fond memories  for alumni of the 70s and 80s.”


Jabberwocky Murals Installed in Bird Library

Release updated on September 23, 2021

Visitors to the lower level of Bird Library can get a sense of what it might have been like to step into the former campus music venue Jabberwocky, which operated in the Kimmel basement from 1969-85.

Original murals from Jabberwocky were recently installed at Bird Library. The murals, which had been in private and university storage since Jabberwocky’s closing, depict scenes from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and were created by Mitchel Resnick ’76 (College of Visual and Performing Arts). They were painted in the 1970s on the original walls of Jabberwocky, which were made of tectum for noise control and durability.

The original murals, which took Resnick 2 ½ years to paint, were 10-foot-tall panels depicting characters from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass,” and “What Alice Found There,”which includes the nonsensical poem “Jabberwocky.”

Jabberwocky, fondly referred to as “The Jab,” was a beloved student-run musical campus and community venue, which showcased emerging and well-known local, regional and national musicians, such as Charles Mingus, The Talking Heads, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Cyndi Lauper.

“The Jabberwocky was clearly an iconic institution that defined a significant part of the student experience of the time,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “The Alice in Wonderland murals were an inspired and fun backdrop for the many musical events that happened in Kimmel basement, and we are pleased to have them on display.  I’m sure they will bring back fond memories  for alumni of the 70s and 80s.

Murals will be displayed on the lower level of Bird Library through Fall 2021.

Syracuse University Libraries, in collaboration with the College of Visual and Performing Arts, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and WAER, are planning an event celebrating Jabberwocky as part of Syracuse University’s Orange Central alumni weekend on October 30.

Jabberwocky murals, which were painted in the 1970s by Mitchel Resnick ’76 (College of Visual and Performing Arts) on the walls of Jabberwocky. The venue had been located in the basement of Kimmel Hall from 1969-1985. The walls were made of tectum for noise control and durability. The original murals, which took Resnick 2 ½ years to paint, were 10-foot-tall panels.
The murals depict characters from Lewis Carroll novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and the sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). The latter contained the nonsensical poem “Jabberwocky,” from which the venue got its name.
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)
Tweedledum and Tweedledee — Illustration by John Tenniel to the fourth chapter of Through the Looking Glass
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)
Alice Meets Humpty Dumpty — Illustration by John Tenniel for the sixth chapter of Through the Looking Glass
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)
Alice and the White Knight. Frontispiece illustration by Sir John Tenniel to Through the Looking Glass
NOTE: The artist’s rendition of this illustration was a self-portrait, giving the white knight a decidedly more “collegiate” look.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
Alice at the Mad Hatter’s tea party — Illustration by Sir John Tenniel for the fifth chapter of Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)
The Oysters with the Walrus and the Carpenter — Illustration by John Tenniel to the fourth chapter of Through the Looking Glass
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
Alice meets the Caterpillar – illustration by SirJohn Tenniel for the fifth chapter of Alice in Wonderland