Over the last few weeks, an anonymous artist who goes by the title Morwen Hall (M.H.) has created extravagant chalk drawings that have appeared all over campus and has grasped the attention of several students.
M.H. first began her journey in chalk art during the fall of 2015 while taking a drawing class taught by Professor Kay Mickle who assigned her a chalk drawing activity. Her first drawing, which was of a hibiscus leaf, drew a lot of attention by fellow students and she said the popularity of her drawing freaked her out. However, she did enjoy watching it get walked on, worn out and washed away.
“It’s really therapeutic to me to watch something you’ve worked so hard on slowly vanish from existence, only to remain in memories and on camera cards,” M.H. said.
Earlier this semester, an adviser encouraged M.H. to do a personal project where she had full control to help cope with her anxiety. As a result, M.H. turned to chalk drawing as her personal therapy.
Found written next to each of M.H.’s chalk drawings is the hashtag #blackcatninja3, a personal reference to her black cat Baxter. She chose to honor her drawings with his persona because she feels she is able to relate to Baxter very well because, like her, he has anxiety and other obsessive-compulsive disorders.
M.H. believes her chalk art is a great way for her to escape from the pressures of being a college student, especially since she is very busy with a major and three minors. She also has plans to pursue a master’s degree in the future.
“I want to pursue a master’s in sculpture and illustration and ultimately earn a Ph.D. in Renaissance and Baroque art history,” M.H. said. “I want to be a professor of fine arts at a college or university someday, as well as a free-lance illustrator and wedding dress designer. I would also like to write and illustrate my own manga series.”
M.H. insists she would never have gotten as far as she has with art if it weren’t for a former high school art teacher Mr. Jensen and current art professor at Slippery Rock Thomas Como. According to M.H., Como encouraged her to expand out her comfort zone to study art abroad.
“He (Como) is the one who encouraged me to travel to Italy twice to study art and who has told me to ‘go big or go home’ with my sculptures and drawings,” M.H. said. “He loves seeing my work and I look up to him as a second father.”