Introspection through art

Northern Kentucky University students are showing off their talent at the Annual “Juried Student Exhibition.”

The show features art of various mediums, including photography, film, painting, sculpture and graphic design.

Of approximately 350 pieces of art, about 150 were selected for the show, according to Director of Exhibitions and Collections David Knight. The art, selected by Maureen Bloomfield, editor-in-chief of “The Artist’s Magazine,” reflects the best submissions for each media. Nine pieces were selected for merit awards, and one received Best in Show.

“It was really difficult [to judge],” Bloomfield said. “I wish I could have given another 15 awards.”

While the exhibit has been presented for about 15 years at NKU, Knight said that this year the show features a lot more new media, such as graphic design and video.

Junior new media art major Jesse Byerly had three short films in the exhibition, including “Pattern,” which Byerly said was his way of looking back and letting go of a relationship. Byerly, who created “Pattern” for an electronic music class described his films as art therapy.

“Most of my art is about my life and what I’m going through,” Byerly said.

Using art to tell personal stories is a theme common to many of the artists whose work is displayed at the exhibit.

“Art is an ongoing act of self-investigation,” Bloomfield said in her Juror’s statement.

Senior sculptor major Emily Gabbard won a merit award through a sculpture that reflects self-investigation of a neurological disorder she was diagnosed with at a young age.

“It’s sort of my personal quest of trying to find out what’s going on in my body,“ Gabbard said.

Some pieces required not only introspection, but large quantities of time. Senior art education major Kendra Douglas spent up to two months sculpting a giant spider of steel. The spider, titled “An Encounter With Deception: Lactrodectus Mactan II,” was worth it, though, according to Douglas, who won Best in Show for the sculpture.

The exhibition not only showcases the talents of the artists who contributed, but provides students an opportunity to see what art students are doing in classes and in their spare time.

“I really like seeing work by students I see in the halls every day but don’t usually get to see the art they do,” said photography major James Rice, who had three photos featured in the exhibition.

The “Juried Student Exhibition,” which began Thursday, will be on display in the Third Floor Gallery of the Fine Arts Building through April 1. For information about the exhibition, go to

Story by Roxanna Blevins