Women of Westby's "Street Art is Art" made a point to recognize graffiti as a very real form of art. - Contributor / Jennifer McGraw

Rowan University offers many ways to escape and have a good time with friends without worrying about current world events. The Women of Westby “Street Art is Art” exhibit — one of the many that Rowan displays — was just the escape I needed. The exhibit is a collaboration by Noel Waldron and Chago. 

When I entered the gallery, I automatically felt like I was in another world. Most of the walls were covered in brick wall art that was accented with vines. The artwork was all street-themed — things someone might put on the side of a building. Besides the art on the makeshift brick walls, there was also photography and other kinds of art.

It was absolutely remarkable to see what these two artists came up with. It told a story, and you could tell that story meant a lot to them. There was a short nature clip that played on one of the side walls of the exhibit, which was also a nice touch.

Two really cool aspects of the exhibit were the “Take Something, Leave Something” table and the business card wall. The “Take Something, Leave Something” table is exactly how it sounds — students who found or had something interesting that they were willing to part with donated it to the table. In exchange, they took something another student had placed on the table.

Everything from dollar bills to a Jumanji game was up for grabs. This was a great aspect to have; with everything going on in the world, who knows if that dollar or Jumanji game could’ve been helpful to someone else. I donated a healing crystal and a dollar bill in exchange for a really cool sticker and sew-on patch. 

The other aspect of the exhibit was a wall of artists’ business cards. This was a cork board by the art office door that any attendees who had business cards could attach to promote themselves. Knowing the financial threat that small businesses — let alone artists — have faced during the pandemic, the business card wall was a great addition, and something that I think should be implemented in every Rowan building. 

This cork board was a way for artists to share contacts and connect with each other. – Contributor/ Jennifer McGraw

This was the second art exhibit I attended that was hosted by Women of Westby. This exhibit gave me an escape from our world for an hour and I’m grateful for it. Not only that, but the real message from this exhibit is that street art, or “graffiti,” is just as real an art form as anything else. 

The Women of Westby provide exceptional works by talented artists currently attending or graduated from Rowan University. Though this exhibit ended Saturday evening, I’m sure the Women of Westby will be hosting more pop-up events in the future. I strongly recommend you check this organization out if you are interested in art and supporting small businesses! You can reach both Noel Waldron and Chago via Instagram. 

For questions/comments about this story, email arts@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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