Town and gown art show 

The 2023 Visual Arts and Design Showcase is a collaborative show between the University of Missouri and the Columbia Art League.

April 26, 2023
Contact: Sara Diedrich, 573-882-3243,
Photos and story by Samantha Novak

University of Missouri students of all majors are showing their creative sides this week during the 2023 Visual Arts and Design Showcase (VADS) — an annual juried art show hosted by the MU Office of Undergraduate Research and Columbia Art. 

Now in its eighth year, VADS is a multi-department and multi-discipline show that highlights work in all mediums. This year, 44 MU students were selected to display their work during Show Me Research Week. 

The show is free and open to the public through April 29 at the Columbia Art League, located at 207 Ninth St. Gallery hours are 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.  

To be considered for VADS, students were required to submit a full, completed body of work made during their time at Mizzou. Students were also required to submit an artist statement and name a faculty mentor. 
VADS is held at Columbia Art League (CAL) in the heart of downtown Columbia. This year, VADS partnered with Ragtag Cinema to host a screening event for students showcasing video projects.  
Heather Tearney, operations manager in the MU Office of Undergraduate Research, helps a student hang her work in CAL during installation day. "For most students, this is their first time to install a creative work in a professional gallery," Tearney said. "Their excitement and joy in having their work installed in this setting is marvelous, and the fact that I get to help them with the process is something of which I feel privileged to be a part."
Brenna Heavin, an MU senior majoring in plant sciences, installs her floral display piece titled “Stolen Innocence”. 
Kylee Isom, an MU senior majoring in photography, hangs her artist card for her photography project titled “MAKE ME FEEL GOOD.” Along with their body of work, students were required to submit their project’s conceptual meaning, artistic process and inspiration. 
Taylor McNair, a senior majoring in graphic design, displayed her work “Hubble: An Alien Dating Game.”  
“It was such a great experience getting to see all of the work displayed at the reception,” McNair said. “I think the best part was getting to see work from different schools at Mizzou like architecture, DST and TAM.” 
Sophie Froese (right), an MU junior majoring in art, stands next to her mixed media sculptures titled “My Formal Apology”. 
In addition to the in-person show, all 44 projects have been archived on the MU Library Digital Exhibitions and Online Forums site, where each student has an exhibit page featuring photos of their work, written artist statement and artist video.
This year’s show featured work in a wide range of disciplines, from videos to ceramics, to architectural designs. 

Learn more about the 2023 Visual Arts and Design Showcase winners

Subscribe to

Show Me Mizzou

Stay up-to-date with the latest news by subscribing to the Show Me Mizzou newsletter.