Larger-than-life art in living color

COLUMBIA, Mo 4/1/14 (Profile)
-- The Broadway hotel in downtown Columbia has opened, but it isn't the fine food, top-notch guest service, or top-of-the-town views from the hotel's Roof Lounge that have stolen the show. 

Two larger-than-life murals have been the real scene stealers, as big, bold, and colorful as the artist who created them, our April Artist of the Month, Lizzie Bryan
Breeze sweeping their hair and sun warming their smiles, the hip young couple Bryan depicts in the mural Cosmopolis beckons guests to step onto The Broadway's rooftop for a panoramic Columbia view so bright, well -- they have to wear shades. 

Smaller and slightly more subdued, Drink Odyssey -- Bryan's second Broadway mural created with artist and graphic designer Maura Mudd -- is a smoldering mix of cocktails and nightlife, and another gleaming suggestion for guests to enjoy their stay in the heart of downtown. 

Our eighth Heart Beat Artist of the Month, Bryan is in excellent company.  She follows painter Marilyn Cummins; photographer Anastasia Pottinger; painter Rodney Burlingame; actor and director Ed Hanson; painter Byron Smith; painter Catherine Parke; and mixed media artist Jenny McGee.   

Bryan works with the Easily Distracted Art Collaborative, a Columbia-based group that specializes in so-called "atmospheric metamorphosis" -- big art that fills rooms, parks, even buildings, for events, parties, and festivals, indoors and out.

Variations of a piece they call the Pyramid of Life have been a big hit at the immersive art and music fest known as Wakarusa, while other pieces have helped the Blue Note celebrate its anniversary; Roots and Blues celebrate music; Citizen Jane celebrate women in film; and countless other people and parties celebrate life in living color. 
Like Ed Hanson and Jenny McGee, Bryan is a member of Columbia's growing art-repreneurial community, entrepreneurs of the arts who have mastered the art of public engagement through promotion, marketing, and memorable, intriguing personalities. 

The lead organizer of the annual Santacon Christmas fest in CoMo, Bryan is as comfortable making art as she is wearing it, so that no two pictures of her are ever quite the same. 
Talk about a great way to create a living, lasting image of the artist at work -- and play.  

-- Mike Martin