Community member Maewyn Padilla is spreading positivity across The University of New Mexico with her chalk art masterpieces. Although drawings will fade, the impression remains.     

“Temporary art is something I adore and gives me perspective on what art means to me,” Padilla said. “It’s something to simply share. No one can ever own it, buy it, hang it. It belongs to everyone and to no one. Not even me.”

Padilla enjoys creating chalk art across Albuquerque, but particularly at UNM. Padilla says the campus is a safe place for her to express herself. She enjoys temporary art as it allows her to create without the need to erase or make changes, which she describes as pure creation.

UNM has a large collection of public art, defined as any type of media which is intended to be staged in a public domain. It can be enjoyed by anyone in the community. Across campus, Lobos and community members enjoy a variety of public murals, sculptures, Earth art, and more.

Andrea Polli, UNM art professor and award-winning community artist, says these installments bring depth to our community.

“I have seen students and other members of the community create chalk art around UNM's campus for many years, it is an important venue that creates conversations about issues that can concern everyone,” Polli said. “Unlike the more permanent murals and sculptural work that enlivens the campus but might not represent the diversity of views represented on campus, chalk art and other temporary forms of art can speak to current issues and can be an equalizer, potentially allowing the those not represented in the permanent art to have a voice.”

The UNM Art Department provides an environment where students can embrace their own uniqueness and creativity. Many students have taken advantage of temporary art, using it to spread messages across campus. Art can have a great community impact, even if it fades away one day.

“I hope that my art makes people smile. I want it to brighten their day and have something small that maybe stops them for a moment or put a new thought into their head,” Padilla said.

Those interested in Maewyn’s artwork can follow her on Instagram @maewyn_