New art on MU campus promotes upcoming program

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COLUMBIA - Some new artwork is continuing to pop up and gain interest on the MU campus. 

So far, two separate art installations have been put on sidewalks around campus. The style of the artwork is known as “trompe l'oeil,” or “trick of the mind.” Each installment is a chalk painting that provides an optical illusion and gives viewers a 3D sensation. 

The artists are two professional 3D chalk artists who came to MU as a kickoff to a new university program called “Artist in Residence,” or AIR. 

The program is a collaboration between the MU School of Music and Visual Studies, the Department of Theatre and the Museum of Art and Archaeology.

“They’re kicking of their Artist in Residence program, and they wanted to do something really fun and interactive that people could witness and really become a part of the art,” said artist Chris Carlson. “They thought 3D art would be a great fit.”

Carlson and his fellow chalk artist, Nate Baranowski, both travelled from out of state to partake in the program’s kickoff. Both of the artists said they have been very happy with people’s reactions.

“The student reaction has been great,” Carlson said. “And the faculty have come out to see it. It is a really fun way to get people together and kind of interacting with the artwork.”

According to the programs website, AIR is designed to bring “established” and “emerging” artists to campus in order to “celebrate the arts and cultivate creativity across disciplines.”

Baranowski said he hopes, by bringing their art to campus, they can help carry out AIR's goal of supporting art and creativity in the community.

“It will be able to give people the opportunity to interact with art for those who are not considering themselves as art lovers,” he said. “For those who would never step foot inside a museum, they get to kind of experience art.”

The artists said they have one more installment to go. The next installation will be near the Fine Arts building on Hitt Street. It will contain components to represent all three departments—art, music and theatre. 

One MU student said she has really enjoyed the art and thinks it will have an impact on campus. 

“I think it will make it a more creative place,” said student Hannah Nystrom. “I love creativity. I love to paint and I love to draw, so this really makes me happy.”

The program was first announced in February 2018 by Chancellor Alexander Cartwright. In January, AIR will present a variety of artists in a concert and arts series. Some of the artists include actor and singer Taye Diggs, documentary filmmaker Alix Lambert and the Cab Calloway Orchestra.