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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Museum Crawl lets viewers explore art from around the world

From fashion to wooden utensils to photographs, various types of artwork from different time periods were on display.

The 10th annual MU Campus Gallery and Museum Crawl opened its seven venues to the public earlier this week. This was the first year the crawl did not include the Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Museum of Anthropology, which has moved to Mizzou North. Consequently, the event was an hour shorter than previous years.

The School of Music Families walked through heavy air scattered with drumbeats. Four percussionists split the silence with rhythms that left the passersby smiling.

“We were asked to facilitate music throughout the campus,” graduate student Anna Provo said.

The School of Music requested performers to provide entertainment at various locations, their tunes setting the tone for the Campus Crawl.

One piece played was Terry Riley’s, In C. A mixture of textures, the tune contained 53 patterns repeated by the musicians.

“There will never be a repeat performance of what we just played, ever,” senior Jared Rivera said.

At the conclusion of the song, all the players came together in harmony.

“(It was a time) to get to know each other, play an instrument and have a good time,” Provo said.

Botanic Gardens The botanic gardens booth, which is the entirety of MU’s campus, provided maps to guide visitors throughout the gardens that make up MU’s campus.

The botanic gardens are maintained by the university grounds crew, so that the quality of the flowers are kept in pristine condition.

Those involved in the Mizzou Botanical Gardens have recently invested in native pollinators in an effort to provide the gardens with more native plants. Milkweed, lilies, coneflower and more make up the collection in the gardens.

The McDougall Center Gallery Located in Lee Hills Hall, this gallery showcased “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl,” a series of photographs taken by Gerd Ludwig over 25 years in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

The disaster required the evacuation of thousands of people in the nearby city Pripyat, which now remains desolate. Many of Ludwig’s pictures depict the empty city, dusted with debris and abandoned belongings, juxtaposed with symbols of life.

One photograph shows a decrepit schoolroom laden with debris and a vibrant, young tree growing through the middle of it.

“It speaks to where we are in society today in regards to our energy and how we deal with really horrific things and recover from them,” said Rick Shaw, director of Pictures of the Year International the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Photojournalism Chair David Rees said this exhibit “enhances the experience for students,” especially those interested in environmental journalism.

“It’s a fantastic environment for discussion,” Rees said. “I hope they get scared a little bit so that (they) exercise greater safety with nuclear power and weapons. I hope they develop greater empathy for the victims.”

State Historical Society of Missouri The Historical Society displayed “Four Turbulent Decades: The Cartoons of Tom Engelhardt” and “Audubon’s Paper Menageries: Birds and Quadrupeds.”

Engelhardt’s political cartoons chronicled 40 years of controversy in politics and were published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The curator of art collections, Joan Stack, describes the cartoonist as the equivalent of today’s Jon Stewart.

One of the comics commented on Neil Armstrong’s moon landing and was inscribed, “From Daedalus to Armstrong – the Dream Fulfilled.”

Junior Gillian Smith said she liked the exhibit.

“You get so used to the political gloom and doom, even if it comes from a good place,” Smith said. “It’s important to have something uplifting. It makes it stand out.”

Also on display were John Audubon’s famous paintings of wildlife as well as works by painters Thomas Hart Benton and George Caleb Bingham. Stack said their collection attracts people with all different interests, from conservation to art experts.

“Hopefully we’ll continue to grow,” Stack said. “(The crawl) is making people more aware of the space.”

Enns Entomology Museum This museum opened their exhibit this year with a theme: light. On the second floor of the Agriculture Building, a trail of different bug-catching light traps led to museum manager Kristin Simpson’s welcome table, which was complete with mealworm cookies and a small habitat containing blue death feigning beetles.

“The museum started around 1941 when we received a donation of 300,000 beetles,” Simpson said.

The museum has grown to include 7 million specimens, making it one of the largest university collections, said Simpson.

Inside the museum, special displays were set up showing different light-oriented bugs. Iridescent blue moths and butterflies, different species of fireflies and glow worm beetles were a few of the many insects on display.

Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection The Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collections exhibit contained several colorful and significant costumes and clothing dating back all the way back to 1828 and through the 20th century.

The theme that inspired this particular display was “reflect.”

“With 2015 being the ‘Year of the Light,’ we wanted to incorporate that theme into our displays,” MHCTC archivist and instructor Nicole Johnston said. “We have all kinds of materials displayed such as weaves, metals, metallic substances; all materials that aid the reflection of light.”

The exhibit was full of historically important textiles and outfits that represented a multitude of previous eras, and even contained a craft-making station.

Craft Studio Handcrafted, wooden spoons and other custom-made kitchenware dotted the displays at Craft Studio. Treen — small wooden utensils — was the theme of this year’s exhibition.

Unlike certain art exhibits, the viewer was allowed to “handle” the objects.

“I wanted to give people an art show where they could actually hold things,” Treen curator Aron Fischer said.

The studio was divided into regions: From London to Cape Town, Chattanooga to Glasgow, pieces from around the world were arrayed in Columbia.

In preparation for the show, Fischer spent six months contacting fellow artists from near and far.

“I hope that my part of the crawl this year will give people a chance to actually interact with art objects,” Fischer said.

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