Experience the shockwave of creativity at NAU’s Wall Draw III
By Morgan Miller
Walking around Flagstaff, walls seem to be the public’s canvas. Nearly every corner contains an eye-catching work of art, be it murals downtown or sketches on the sidewalk. Flagstaff thrives on community involvement, and a major portion exists through public expression.
Northern Arizona University (NAU) will be hosting Wall Draw III, an event dedicated to expression and togetherness. On Sept. 4, there were blank walls begging to be drawn on by anyone who stepped inside the Beasley Art Gallery. It was the exhibit’s first day open, but by the final day on Sept. 28, the walls will morph into a collage of drawings and words from students and the community, eventually forming a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
The main objective of the event is to get anyone and everyone involved. Freedom of expression is the backbone of Wall Draw. Now in its third year, the public is anticipating another success.
Chris Taylor, Beasley Gallery Coordinator and fine arts instructor, is the main visionary responsible for the exhibit. With hardly any rules, his passion for uninhibited expression shows through at this event. Taylor explains, “It’s a way for the NAU community and the community at large in Flagstaff, or wherever, to come in and participate in a drawing show.”
His inspiration for Wall Draw stems from his passion for art and getting people who believe they “can’t draw” to break out of their comfort zone and see that they too can contribute. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., all are welcome to grab ink and brushes, drawing and writing what they please.
Each year has out-preformed the last, and this year is expected to be the biggest one yet. It is no surprise why; drawing on walls has been a forbidden pleasure for nearly everyone since childhood.
“It’s a sort of a feeling of you’re not supposed to do it, so when you do it, it feels good,” Taylor said.
Despite the individuality of Wall Draw each year, there are often similar themes among illustrations. Taylor takes note of recurring images, “It’s fun when I see someone working on their cartoon and I’ll see their little cowboy and then I’ll see the cowboy show up somewhere else. So I can kind of see where their characters are moving.”
Although this exhibit focuses on individual expression, everyone’s contributions evolve and becomes a whole. The gallery provides media, including ink and brushes. They are all black and white; the material being the same contributes to the feeling of unity at the end. Taylor explains, “I tape out an area, so that way everybody is participating together, but within the boundaries of the tape marks. After the month is over, when it looks like just one drawing someone does, when I take the tape away, it ends up becoming one huge shockwave of public expression.”
During the first week of October, Flagstaff will see yet another canvass displaying the unique creativity of its people.
In the past, the final reveal has been on the reception night; that is changing this year. The tape will be down the entire first week of October from 5-7 p.m. allowing the public to have gallery space and admire the work.