BYU Stamp Scavenger Hunt
Faculty Mentor: Gary Barton, 2D Studio Art
The goal of this project was to provide an informative and unifying activity for BYU students through an art installation and exhibition. It was inspired by Japanese Eki (Train) Station stamps, which promotes tourism throughout all of Japan, to popular and unknown areas, due to people interest in collecting ink stamps placed at each station. I thought creating a stamp scavenger hunt throughout BYU campus would help students to get to know campus better and the different departments within them. Speaking from my own personal experience, it was not until this project that I really got to know BYU campus. I entered in several buildings for the first time and learning about many colleges I did not even know existed.
To gain permission to place stamps throughout campus, there were many bureaucratic calls and meetings with different building managers and representatives for the different colleges. After obtaining permission for the buildings, I carved ink stamps out of linoleum with iconic images that represented the colleges in each building and/or included well known projects that the college created. Then I made pedestals for each of the stamps and attached the stamps to them with a steel chain. (Figure 1) There was also placed on the pedestal a short information sheet about what departments were within that building and the imagery for the stamp. The following sixteen buildings and their corresponding departments participated in the Stamp Scavenger Hunt:
1) Carl F. Eyring Science Center (Physics, Astronomy, Food Science), 2) David O. McKay Building (CITES, ComD, CPSE, EIME, EdLF, IP&T, TE), 3) Faculty Office Building (Economics), 4) Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center (Arts, Music, Theater), 5) Joseph Fielding Smith Building (Humanities, Comparative Art & Language, Languages, Linguistics, Philosophy), 6) Joseph Smith Building (Religion), 7) George H. Brimhall Building (Communications), 8) Life Sciences Building (Biology, Microbiology and Molecular biology, physiology, Plant and Wildlife Sciences, Health Science), 9) N. Eldon Tanner Building (Marriot School of Business), 10) Richards Building (Wellness & Dance), 11) Roland A. Crabtree Technology Building (School of Technology, Mechanical Engineering Building), 12) Spencer W. Kimball Tower (Family in Consumer Science, Nursing), 13) Ezra Taft Benson Building (Chemistry), 14) Talmage Math Sciences/ Computer Building (Math, Statistics, Computer Science), 15) W. W. Clyde Engineering Building (College of Engineering & Technology), 16) William H. Snell Building (School of Technology, Ira A. Fulton College of Technology & Engineering).1
I did not make a pedestal for the Richards Building due to the fact that they did not want an ink stamp left out unsupervised in the hallway, so the ink stamp for that building was placed at the information desk with the information sheet.
I advertised with an open event on Facebook, posters in the Franklin S. Harris Building, Talmage Math Sciences/ Computer Building, and David O. McKay Building, announcements in my classes for that semester, and through word of mouth (Figure 2). I also made a page on my website, which gave information about the scavenger hunt, a PDF of the scavenger hunt map to collect the ink stamps, information about the stamps and their locations including images of the stamps, and a step by step tutorial on how to carve your own stamps.2 The stamp installation was displayed for two weeks, from October 17th to the 28th. I also held an art opening in the Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center on Thursday, October 20th and passed out a free scavenger hunt map and displayed of all the stamps printed and framed (Figure 3-4).
The results of the project were positive. In the first week of the project’s opening, there was an increase of 300 views on the scavenger hunt website. There were many people who commented on how they enjoyed the project, went into quite a few buildings they had never seen before, and were interested in learning more about some of the programs at BYU. At the end of the project, the stamps had all be heavily used. It was rewarding to know that there were several people who participated in the project and perhaps gained some greater connection to BYU campus.
There can be great power in art installation and social artistry. The power to help people to see a social issue and be inspired to change in some way. Even if that change is as simple as recognizing the need to learn more about your surroundings like the BYU Stamp project did. These types of experiences can make a current impact, but also a lasting one. For instance, people will look back on the experience they had with this project and remember how much they enjoyed searching for the stamps and learning about a new building and/or major. This will help them in connecting with others in the future and becoming a person who pursues lifelong learning.
1 “BYU Campus Map.” BYU Campus Map. 2015. 28 Dec. 2016,
2 Elsmore, Mandy. “Scavenger Hunt.” Mandy Elsmore. N.p., 25 Oct. 2016. Web. 28 Dec. 2016.