Art for the birds

The NKU art gallery will be giving the campus something to tweet about this month when the art exhibit “For the Birds” opens Thursday, February 10. The exhibit explores and celebrates birds in both life and death. For the first time in the gallery’s history, one of the pieces will contain live animals.

Dan Dezarn, NKU alumni and sculpting teacher currently living in New York, will be presenting his piece that features 12 live zebra finches inside a cage that is modeled after a basilica. Inside the cage is a sculpture made of suet and birdseed that the birds will consume for the length of the exhibit.

The birds will be rented from Pets Plus in Taylor Mill and will be returned when the exhibit ends. Steven Finke, faculty member and artist, will not only have pieces in the exhibit but has volunteered to take care of the birds. Aside from eating the sculpture, the birds will also be fed finch food and water regularly.

One of the photographers will exhibit images of dead birds, pinning the photographs to the wall in a manner that resembles a specimen in a science class. Sheida Soleimani uses birds that she finds as road kill and alters them into a story type image.

The exhibit will include work from 19 artists from the region using multiple forms of media. “everybody uses the [birds] differently,” says Finke. “The thing in common is the birds. Most of the artists are active with birds outside of just the objects that they make.”

The artists all have ties to the area as some are former faculty and students, including Mayme Kemplin, a student that graduated last semester. Kemplin will be showing a wall mounted piece composed of 40 – 50 ceramic bird heads.

“We have drawing, photography, printmaking, mixed media pieces that are more sculptural, ceramics, it’s a wide range of different kinds of work,” says David Knight, art gallery director. “There should be something for everyone.”

The opening reception for the exhibit will be Thursday, February 10 from 5 – 7 p.m. The exhibit will run through Friday, March 4 in both of the art galleries and will be on display Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Story by Chad Schultz