Doomsday art exhibition inspires students in debut


By Jacob Hook

An art exhibition with hopes to show students that anything is achievable with hard work made its debut on campus Friday night.

Buster Graybill’s event, a San Antonio artist, was highlighted by the Renegade Modernist Utility Travel Trailer (R.M.U.T.T.), a 20-foot, extreme off-road camper trailer made for the end of the world.

Left portion of the R.M.U.T.T. featuring an oven, grill and many survival tools. Photo courtesy of Heesoo Yang.

The trailer is Graybill’s response to what he perceives as an escalating cultural tension, paranoia, political anxiety, and cultural obsession with “doomsday prepping” for “end of the world” situations.

“We want to show students that a sketch or a dream can come true with hard work,” Sara-Jayne Parsons, the director of TCU’s art galleries, said.

Fernando Alverez, a first-year master’s student at TCU, said he loved the trailer because it’s functional and provides a service in the artist’s life.

“Buster’s art is great because he uses common practices in art and sculpture and takes it outside of the context of the snobby gallery scene,” Alverez said.

The R.M.U.T.T. will move around campus and will be parked in front of the Moudy Building beginning late September, Parsons said. 

The end of the world trailer was one of the most popular pieces at Graybill’s exhibit, but it wasn’t the only reason why people came.

Phoebe Adams, a first-year master’s student in the art history program, said she came to the exhibit because she heard Graybill had damaged the gallery intentionally with one of his pieces. 

Clay pigeon exhibit that intentionally damaged the east wall of the TCU Art Galleries. Photo courtesy of Heesoo Yang.

Graybill shot clay pigeons directly into the east wall of the TCU Art Galleries building, and he let the destruction and debris lay strewn all over his exhibit. 

“I like the element of mystery of this piece,” Adams said. “Clearly something has happened, and you’re just kind of living in the moments after it, and I think that’s interesting.”

Many of the visitors came to see the exhibit because of their appreciation of and familiarity with Graybill’s work.

“I love his sculptural work, because it’s a play on rural Americana, and it’s very engaging,” Clint Bargers, a second-year master’s student, said.

The Art Galleries at TCU will feature Graybill’s exhibition until Nov. 23.