Art continues to paint the walls of Steely

April will feature the annual Social Justice Art/Writing Contest Exhibit, featuring work of NKU students in visual arts and more.

NKU has had the privilege of holding many art exhibits in Steely Library’s Eva G. Farris Reading Room over the past few years. The current exhibit, “Positively Ninety,” as well as the “In Service to Our Nation” tribute exhibit last fall have drawn attention from NKU and the surrounding community.

How these and other exhibits are selected is up to the Exhibition Space Committee, chaired by Michael Providenti.

“We’ve had exhibits of paintings, graphic design and photographs. We’ve had displays of photographs that were made to illustrate sociology texts and works done to explore themes in literary texts,” Providenti said.

Providenti, who is in charge of forwarding exhibit proposals to the committee, said that proposals have drawn in artists both on campus and those not affiliated with NKU. Therefore, it is important to keep an open mind when meeting with the committee regarding proposals.

“I try not to have a notion of what I want people to submit. I try to be open to whatever proposals come in and the committee as a whole makes a recommendation,” Providenti said. “Basically, the proposals need to demonstrate exhibit-worthy work, and the exhibit needs to work in the space.”

In a given school year, typically, three major exhibits are displayed in Steely Library, including the Social Justice Art/Writing Contest. This contest is usually featured from April to August and includes pieces from students in visual arts, theater and dance, and literature and language.

Providenti said when it comes to this annual event, word of mouth plays a huge role in drawing attention from other artists and community members.

“People who have been active in that have directed people to the committee or mentioned people to me to follow up with. The Social Justice exhibit is student work and its scope reaches across various departments,” Providenti said. “But this is an opportunity to see what other students are creating and find out what they have to say.”

No single theme is favored with any exhibit, according to Provident and the committee. There should be something of interest to people  (in an exhibit) at any given time.

Providenti and the committee encourage proposal submissions at any time, but the Reading Room isn’t available instantly, as some planning is involved in the process.

For people who would like to submit a short-term exhibit, they can contact Providenti directly at or send a proposal to