Elevating artistic creativity

Creative works by Mizzou students will take center stage during the Chancellor’s Arts Showcase on Friday, Feb. 23.

Feb. 14, 2024
Contact: Deidra Ashley, ashleyde@missouri.edu

Discover a world of inspiration at the University of Missouri’s annual Chancellor’s Arts Showcase. Experience the creativity and artistic innovation of art, design and live performances of more than 100 Mizzou students on Friday, February 23, at the Missouri Theatre.

The event is free and open to the public.

The program is as follows:
  • Art and design exhibition in the Missouri Theatre lobby 6–7:30 p.m.
  • Performances and film screenings in the Missouri Theatre 7:30–9 p.m.

Featured student work is from the Department of Architectural Studies, Department of Textile and Apparel Management, Department of Theatre, School of Music and School of Visual Studies.

“Art feeds our curiosity by teaching us how to imagine and express ourselves more fully,” said Cooper Drury, dean of the MU College of Arts and Science. “Don’t miss out on this opportunity to witness firsthand the awe-inspiring work of our talented students.”

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

  • Turma Asokan
Turma Asokan

Senior architectural studies major from Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

Tell us about your project.

I designed a multifamily mixed-use apartment complex called Columbia EcoVillage for international students and early care educators. This project and its constraints are for the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge organized by the U.S Department of Energy. This is a competition where participants are challenged to acquire the knowledge and ability to design energy efficient buildings.

I aimed to create a welcoming environment for international students and early care educators who were transitioning to life in a new country by making it easier for them to adjust to their new surroundings and lifestyle. I focused primarily on providing affordable housing and integrating sustainable practices that facilitated efficient, resilient spaces — benefiting the residents, local community and the planet. Some of these features include an eco-friendly gym; solar panels on the roof; solar farming gardens that provide an in-house food market; and a learning center for students and educators.

Tell us about your project inspiration.

I was inspired by my own experiences as an international student. I understand firsthand the challenges of being able to access basic needs due to a lack of transportation, informational resources and knowledge of the surrounding area. So, I focused on tackling these issues in ways that would benefit international students and community members who face similar challenges. Also, I made sure to include sustainable features in the project to help the environment and promote healthy living. I believe everyone should have access to sustainable buildings and their benefits, and that's what I aim for as a designer.

What do you want to do after you graduate?

I want to work in a design or architecture firm that takes on sustainable projects and be one of the many designers contributing to sustainable living.

  • Seda Balci
Seda Balci

Graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in music composition from Eskisehir, Turkey

Tell us about your piece.

"Merdiven" is composed for the choir, fixed media, and live electronics. The lyrics of the piece are based on the poem "Merdiven" (The Stairs) by Ahmet Haşim (1887-1933), a highly esteemed symbolist poet in Turkey. In this poem, Haşim metaphorically explores the meaning of life and the journey toward death — drawing effective expressions from nature. I was deeply influenced by his ability to create a powerful narrative using the atmosphere of the poem, and I aimed to capture the same ambiance through the choir and electronic sounds.

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

It has been an incredible source of happiness and motivation for me. I have always harbored a longing to have my compositions performed, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity. I had never composed music for a choir before, and I had never written a piece for live electronics. Thanks to this award, I have enjoyed the pleasure of exploring a new sonic world for myself and have been able to work with Mizzou’s amazing concert chorale family.

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

I believe the human voice is the most compelling instrument. Therefore, I aimed to enhance this impact by synthesizing electronic sounds with the harmony of the human voice. I hope listeners will aurally feel the emotions of the poem while experiencing the music.

  • Alyssa Cozzoni
Alyssa Cozzoni

Junior textile and apparel management major from Wentzville, Missouri

Tell us about your project.

I’ll be presenting my patternmaking final project, "Blue Collar Beauty." The piece combines inspiration from various sources with many of the patternmaking techniques I’ve learned at Mizzou.

What inspired you to create this piece?

This garment was inspired by the decade of 1940s — specifically the women in the workforce and U.S. Army during that period. The piece was also inspired by the Hollywood actress Ginger Rogers, stemming from her working girl role in the movie “Kitty Foyle.” The goal of the piece is to balance the ruggedness of blue-collar work with the extravagance embodied by Ginger Rogers. Overall, the piece was a great learning experience and an opportunity for me to further explore my design aesthetic in new mediums.

What do you want to do after graduation?

I plan to find a job in the fashion industry. One of my values is lifelong learning, so I want to find a position in design and merchandising that is outside of my comfort zone. It will be a great way to expand my knowledge of the industry and set me up for success with the end goal of launching my own business further in the future.

  • Kaylah Janssen headshot
Kaylah Janssen

Senior psychology and theatre performance double major from O’Fallon, Missouri

Tell us about your performance.

I will be performing the song "Right Hand Man" from the musical Something Rotten, which was the MU Department of Theatre's musical for this season.

Tell us about “Right Hand Man.”

"Right Hand Man" is a song that not only centers on women's empowerment but also on the sacrifices a person makes for the ones that they love despite the limitations that society puts on them. Overall, it’s a catchy, powerhouse song that I love performing and believe everyone can enjoy no matter if they know the context of the show or not.

What do you want to do after college?

After college, I plan on moving to New York to enter graduate school for acting to pursue my goal of being a working Broadway and film actress.

Alonzo Williams

Senior fine arts major from O’Fallon, Illinois

Tell us about your art piece.

My piece is entitled “Organic and Inorganic.” I was inspired by the language of Japanese manga and character design to explore the relationship between my biraciality and Christian faith background. Two images of an original, vampiric character I made are arranged in a diptych, asserting the disconnect between one’s physiognomy and inner self. I use the structure of the diptych to elevate and transcend the language of comics above simple entertainment.

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

I am honored to have my artwork put among works by so many talented and skilled individuals. Representing my university and my family brings me great joy, and I hope that my work may inspire other artists in our campus to continue persevering through their art practice.

What do you want to do after college?

As I have thought more about my art’s trajectory in my time at Mizzou, I have grown increasingly interested in publishing independent comics and animations. After graduation, I will most likely pursue government work as a visual information specialist or graphic designer. Meanwhile, I will be using my free time to conceptualize a comic book and further build my portfolio.

Written by Eric Stann

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