Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
With a strong background in the arts, it’s no surprise that Oxford takes time to play host to a wide variety of artists during an event known as the Oxford Art Crawl.
“The Art Crawl is an opportunity for students and community members to come out and enjoy a free night of art, wine and food,” says Alyssa Yuen, the Membership, Events, & Communications Coordinator at the University Museum.
From January to October, on the fourth Tuesday of each month, the Oxford Arts Council features new exhibitions at the University Museum, The Powerhouse, Southside Gallery, and other locations.
The Art Crawl has featured exhibitions of famous artists such as Walter Anderson and John Alexander, and, according to Yuen, previous exhibitions have even stirred up controversy.
“Scratch and Sniff was done by an local artist here in Oxford. She took old pin-up photos and on certain areas, she would have certain smells that you literally scratch and sniff,” says Yuen.
City officials had originally banned the exhibition from being displayed due to the nature of the photography, however after pressure from people citing free press and freedom of speech issues, the exhibition went on display.
With free food and drink, attending the Art Crawl is an easy choice for some college students. The art crawl has had as many as 200 people in attendance.
Ashley Locke, a junior English major, believes the culture is the main attraction.
“One of my favorite crawls would have to be one that I went to last semester that was food themed. There were some handmade dresses that had been smoked like barbecue and they smelled delicious. It was definitely the most memorable piece of art I’ve come across,” says Locke, a junior English major.
The unique nature of the event can even draw in students from other schools.
“I think it’s really cool that there are the exhibitions opening during the event and you can go and actually talk to the artists,” says Daisy Edwards, a visiting student from Mississippi State. “There’s not really anything like this at State, so it’s been pretty cool being able to go around and look at all the art.”
The April Art Crawl served as the opening to Kathleen Robin’s new exhibition ‘Into The Flatland,’ which displays photographs she took of the Mississippi Delta.
With planning already underway for the next event on May 28, the Arts Crawl will continue to provide entertainment throughout the summer months.
For students like Locke, it’s part of what makes the art scene in Oxford so unique.
“The Art Crawl is a great way to get people more engaged in the things Oxford is producing, as well as art people from all over are producing. It’s an experience that you can’t find in many other places.”