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Artistry on Campus group aims to motivate new student-artists

Artistry on Campus, a University of Memphis student organization, aims to provide a space for creative individuals to practice their art.

Jarvis Howard, president and co-founder, and Johnathan Russell, the vice president and fellow co-founder, began thinking of ways students can come together to hone their skills and learn new practices.

“It’s a group of college collective artists on the campus of Memphis broadcasting their art in many ways,” Howard said.

Artistry on Campus is geared toward creative thinkers and provides a platform for various mediums of visual art. Artists of all kinds, such as graphic designers, painters and photographers, are strongly encouraged to join. 

For the 2018-19 school year, Artistry on Campus is looking to expand its horizons to other forms of art and creative expression beyond visual art by allowing students who are writers, poets and spoken word artists to be a part of the organization.

“If there’s enough interest, we’d want to start a poetry or spoken word and creative division of Artistry on Campus,” Russell said.

This summer, Artistry on Campus gave students the opportunity to recreate one of their own ‘I Love Memphis’ mural at Greene Animal Hospital, located on Southern Avenue.

Howard said he was “speechless” while creating the mural. He said it was a great way to give students a place to express their abilities. Russell agreed with him.

“Creating the ‘I Love Memphis’ mural was amazing,” Russell said, “It was truly a milestone for each of us artists.”

Other members of Artistry on Campus participated in the project, and Russell said completing the mural made everyone feel as if they had contributed something useful to the community.

“We felt as though we genuinely got to impact our campus, as well as the surrounding Memphis community, in a positive way using our talents,” Russell said.

Artistry on Campus seeks to provide growth and encouragement to those in any aspect of the creative field through exposure, opportunities and befriending peers who enjoy the same hobbies. The organization also helps its members understand promotion on social media and learn proper techniques for trademarking and watermarks.

Russell also said a goal of the group is to motivate and promote up-and-coming artists with their creative pursuits. Both Howard and Russell had the idea to help fellow student-artists gain exposure for their artwork and learn new skills.

“Artistry on Campus’ plans are to continue looking for more mural opportunities and to uplift upcoming or emerging artists,” Russell said.

Artistry on Campus hosts a variety of events and collaborates with other organizations throughout the school year to help its members gain more exposure. Past collaborations and events included Sip & Paint with Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, breast cancer balloon release with My Sister’s Keeper, Afrofest with African Student Association, a business expo with Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and a pop-up showcase with Tiger Records.

For this semester, their goal is to connect with freshman artists and have more art displayed around campus and throughout Memphis.

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