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Courtney Foat
KU Libraries
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First KU Campus Art Walk hopes to provide creative view of campus

Wed, 08/24/2011
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LAWRENCE — If you’re looking for a relaxing and creative end to your week, the KU campus might be just the right place to visit.

Several university departments are hosting the first-ever KU Campus Art Walk on Friday, Aug. 26 from 4-6 p.m. The Campus Art Walk is designed to allow people to explore a variety of creative works, including 2D, 3D and digital art, as well as dance and musical performances by KU students and alumni and local and international artists.

Courtney Foat, communications specialist with the University of Kansas Libraries, says she hopes the walk will provide students and visitors with a better view of the opportunities available through the university.

“Newer students and visitors can better familiarize themselves with the layout of campus, its resources and services,” she said. “We hope participants will take away an appreciation for the diverse range of art being produced or exhibited on campus – much of it created by our students – and increased awareness of meaningful ways in which they can create or engage with art. At a time when funding and resources for the arts seem to be in short supply, we hope participants will see KU as a powerful example of the value creative exploration brings to individuals, society and intellectual advancement as a whole.”

Art walk attendees will be able to sample free food as they take a self-guided tour through campus and visit seven buildings participating in the walk, including Anschutz and Watson Libraries, Spencer Museum of Art, the Art & Design Building, the Kansas Union, the Dole Center and Stauffer-Flint Hall. Artists will be on hand to discuss their work, give performances and even give walkers the chance to “become part of the art” by participating in mock anchor reads from the students news station.

At 4:30 p.m., Professor Ted Johnson will lead a discussion, “The Natural History Museum as Intellectual Cornerstone of KU,” which will focus on analysis of the architecture and sculptures on the façade of the Natural History Museum as they relate to the interrelations of the traditional Seven Liberal Arts and ideas to be explored in a university.

At 6 p.m., the walk will wrap up on campus and make the transition to downtown. A collaborative caravan of “mobile art galleries” will meet at the Spencer Museum of Art to be rolled, pushed, pulled, ridden, worn or even carried down to 9th and Massachusetts Street as part of downtown Lawrence’s Final Fridays Art Walk’s first anniversary party.

Foat says organizers are already looking forward to making the Campus Art Walk an annual event.

“Participating units have expressed interest in developing this as an annual affair – bringing additional departments on board and increasing participation in the performing arts realm, to name a few ideas,” she said. “We also hope to expand our partnership with the local Final Fridays program. Cultivating more direct partnerships between campus units and downtown galleries could better integrate our complimentary arts communities and maximize awareness and appreciation of the cultural enrichment we bring to Lawrence.”

The event is sponsored by the Departments of Design and Visual Art, KU Libraries, KU Memorial Unions, Spencer Museum of Art and the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

For more information and a printable map of participating sites, visit www.ku.edu/artwalk. For additional detail or to participate in the “mobile gallery project,” contact molly@lawrenceartscenter.org.



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