Third annual NAU Wall Draw huge success
By Amber George
Those who have walked the halls of the performing and fine arts building at Northern Arizona University (NAU) have heard the students working hard on their new sheet music or belting out the most melodious tunes. Not many, however, have had the chance to watch those performing the more visual arts, let alone join in on the fun.
This is what Christopher Taylor, who teaches painting, drawing and color theory at NAU, wants to supply for the students who may not get to expose their creative sides on a regular basis. Put on by Taylor, the 3rd annual Wall Draw Show is already in full swing at the Beasley Gallery; the once-white walls transformed from blank pages to masterpieces in a matter of weeks.
“I came up with the idea of the Wall Draw show three years ago as a way for students and people from the community to come and participate in the gallery.” Taylor says. “I feel that many people are intimidated by the art and galleries, and I want to have people be creative and not fear drawing because of some preconceived idea of what drawing is.”
Anyone is allowed to contribute to the gallery of wall-art, whether they are majoring in art or they just enjoy doodling on their notes.
Taylor offers quick tutorials on how the ink works and the best techniques to go about painting. Everyone is urged to paint whatever they want, so long as they are getting creative with their over-sized canvas.
Within the first few days the walls had become something more than just another room. Carissa Halliday, a second-semester accounting major, found the Wall Draw to be an interesting and inspiring event.
“Everything was blended together, almost like a story,” Halliday says, “yet it was so distinct. Each piece of art stood out like an individual person and personality.”
Sean Wilson, a freshman with an undeclared major, also enjoyed his experience at the Wall Draw.
“When I first saw the Wall Draw I was impressed by all the different pieces already contributed to the wall,” Wilson says. “It got me very excited to be able to add something of my own.”
For many, the Wall Draw not only allows them to express themselves through painting, but they also get to mingle with other students and witness the hundreds of different artistic styles. Wilson says that it is a “great way to pull together artists of many different styles and skill levels and showcase the creative talent home to NAU.”
It isn’t just the students talking about the Wall Draw, either. Many of the art professors at NAU are getting their classes involved in the event.
Lynne Wright, who teaches art appreciation and drawing classes, wanted to have her students contributing to the wall as well.
“I personally enjoy seeing the walls evolve as more drawings are added,” Wright says. “Students are quite proud that they have put some of their drawings into the show. Many go back and draw some more. They get over their fears and enjoy the creative involvement.”
Lalana Fedorschak, a freshman with an undeclared major, had lots of fun contributing as well, and felt that it was a great way to bring a myriad of styles together.
“It is a great idea,” Fedorschak says. “It’s kind of sad that it will be painted over, though.”
As this year’s Wall Draw comes to a close, many of the students will eagerly await the return of the event. It is an opportunity for them to free their inner artist and to have fun while doing it. Taylor has noticed the increase of popularity in the event over these last three years and is excited to see what next year has in store.
“At this point, doing the Wall Draw for a third time, now I have die-hards which can’t wait for the opportunity to draw again,” He says. “People have a great time coming to draw. I notice it more when people have come multiple times and start to bring their friends. Then I know we’re doing something right.”
The Wall Draw Gallery will be open for viewing in its final works for the first week of October, any time between 5-7 p.m. in the Beasley Gallery.
“Really it’s a blast.” Taylor urges. “Plus, you are doing something that you have been told since you’re little not to do; draw on the wall. This makes it more fun.”