Showcase displays the best of art at Mizzou

The Chancellor’s Arts Showcase will take place Friday, Feb. 24. Make plans to witness works by Mizzou’s most talented artists.

Feb. 20, 2023
Contact: Deidra Ashley,

University of Missouri students, faculty and staff are gearing up for the 23rd annual Chancellor’s Arts Showcase on Friday, Feb. 24, at the Missouri Theatre. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public. The event program is as follows:

  • Art exhibition 6:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Live performance 7:30–9 p.m.

This year’s event features work from more than 100 students, faculty and alumni. “The works selected for presentation — whether in performance or exhibition — are the cream of the crop from our students,” said Julia Gaines, director of the School of Music and an event organizer. “At Mizzou, providing these types of opportunities for our students to showcase their works is important, and this event is just one way we signify to our students that we value what they do and who they are.”

Art will be presented in all forms, including works by students representing Architectural Studies; the School of Music; the School of Visual Studies; Textile and Apparel Management; Theatre; and more.

“This is a great opportunity for community members to see the work that our students do every day,” Gaines said. “I know they will be astounded by the talent we have right here on campus.”

Get to know a few of the students whose work will be presented during the showcase.

Abby Blenk

Senior digital storytelling and art major from Cincinnati

Tell us about your piece.

My piece is a portion of an animation I made for my digital storytelling capstone, so what you see are a couple of stills and a poster I made for it. The piece combines 2D animation with a 3D background and follows Atlas, a small, lost creature, as he explores loneliness and free will through his friendship with a dragonfly.

What are you looking forward to most from the showcase? 

I’m excited to see what everyone else in visual studies has been working on. There are so many different mediums, and even with how diverse the work of people I’m in class with is, I feel like I don’t even get a small portion of it!

What do you love about the School of Visual studies? 

The professors — no matter what medium they’re all so wonderful and excited to connect with students. All of my professors have encouraged me to explore projects in a way that excites me and fits with my artistic goals.

Reggie Coleman

Junior theater performance major from St. Louis

Tell us about The Prom.

The Prom is a musical about four Broadway stars who aren’t doing their best on Broadway and need to re-up their fame. They decide to go to a small town and do a publicity stunt — helping a lesbian student, Emma, who was banned from bringing her girlfriend to prom. Along the way, they learn to appreciate Emma and they end up genuinely wanting to help her.

What character do you play in the show?

I play the principal, Mr. Hawkins. He’s Emma’s right-hand man in all her endeavors — trying to get the prom reinstated. I’m excited to bring parts of this show back for the showcase because the story has an important message of acceptance. I’m excited to reunite with my castmates for this special performance.

This isn’t your first time performing at the showcase. Tell us about your past experiences.

I performed last year when we did Rent, and it was a very thrilling experience. Getting to see works from all of Mizzou’s arts programs was so impactful. There’s just a feeling you get whenever you’re around other people who create art like you … it’s like being at home. Getting to perform at events like this is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life.


Junior music major from St. Louis

Tell us about your piece.

My piece, “toy piano concert,” really started out as: “What can I write for this instrument?” When I first got my toy piano, I fell in love with the sound, so I decided to showcase it in my concerto. Because of the nature of the instrument, this idea is inherently programmatic, meaning it inherently tells a story. Music history teachers might tell you about the struggle between the orchestra and the soloist in the structure of a concerto, but that layered on top of a toy being the solo instrument pitted against the orchestra is such a salient image in my mind.

What do you hope people feel when they hear your compositions?

I hope that people hear what they need to hear. I hope that they find in me, or at least the extension of me, what they have felt in themselves but could never vocalize.

What does it mean to you to have won the Sinquefield Composition Prize for this piece?

Winning the Sinquefield Composition Prize was a great honor for me, and I am excited to present my art to a large audience. This will be the first time that I will be working with a full orchestra, and I am truly grateful to be working with my friends and colleagues in the University Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tara Owens

Freshman textile and apparel management major from Kansas City, Missouri

Tell us about your piece.

In class, we were tasked with designing a dress that actress, dancer and singer Ginger Rogers would have worn. Ginger wore a lot of pink and glitter, but I was really inspired by the fabrics I saw when I went to the store — they were quilted black and gold representing Mizzou and the art deco movement. I really pushed myself with the silhouette I went for and am so proud of how it came out.

What was your reaction when you found out you were selected for the showcase?

I was so excited. I’m a freshman, and I was in a class of sophomores, so it was exciting to be chosen for something like this early in my college career. I’m really passionate about this program, and I’m also competitive, so being selected — in addition to everything I learned with this project — is very special.

What do you want to do after college?

Mizzou has given me so many opportunities I never thought I would have. After I graduate, I want to use the connections I’m making here to help me work my way up in the fashion industry. My end goal is to create my own clothing brand — specifically finding an affordable way to create sustainable fashion. Mizzou is giving me the confidence to achieve my goals, and I’m grateful to my professors for encouraging me along the way.  

Valu Pisani

Junior architectural studies major from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tell us about your piece.

This was a class assignment to design a magnet school. I was inspired by being a student, so I created plans for a design school building that could be built on Providence Road. It features classrooms, offices, common spaces and more — specifically thinking about the things design students need. Making sure it was sustainable was also important to me, so I was sure to incorporate sustainable materials and rooftop solar panels.

Why did you choose Mizzou?

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to study in the United States. I started college in Argentina, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I decided to pursue my dream and explore universities in the U.S. I found Mizzou and learned that they have one of the best architecture programs in the country, so I applied … and here I am! I’m so thankful to have found Mizzou.

What does it mean to you to be selected for the Chancellor’s Arts Showcase?

I was so excited when I found out my design had been selected. Mizzou’s architecture program is challenging, but the professors are awesome and they encourage me every day to be the best I can be. I can’t wait for my sister (who also attends Mizzou) and my boyfriend to see my work on display, along with everyone else.

Chancellor’s Arts Showcase
Friday, Feb. 24, at the Missouri Theatre
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

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