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A ceramics piece by senior Jon Stein on display in the BFA gallery.

Crystal Harris

A ceramics piece by senior Jon Stein on display in the BFA gallery.

Crystal Harris, Contributing writer

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Mix four months of frustration, inspiration, whiskey, coffee, Paris, steel and wood together and you’ll get an intriguing display of work from the Bachelor of Fine Arts students at Northern Kentucky University. The seniors had their fall final, and the artist reception was Thursday in the Main Gallery of the Fine Arts Center.

Six seniors had exhibits this fall.

Ceramics major Jon Stein had a very clear idea of what he wanted to do for his final. After spending a summer in Japan, he found that he liked the idea of taking a Japanese ritual and creating that same theme here, but converting it to something Americans would enjoy. His exhibit, The Night of and Morning After, featured Asian inspired pots.

“I was inspired by whiskey and coffee,” Stein said.

Stein had the first sold piece of the group, with NKU alumna, Carola Bell purchasing a piece shortly after the reception began.

Samantha Brooksbank’s “Evolutionary Oddities,” took about four months to complete. Brooksbank referenced botanical, animal and figurative scenery in when creating her pieces. She executed her vision to create a river animal sense within her pieces by molding her pieces to give them the illusion they were weaving in and out of the walls.

“I like to play with the illusions. I want to push people to look inside,” Brooksbank said. “I want to make them feel something for more than 30 seconds, rather they feel uncomfortable or right at home.”

Make it past the creatures scaling the hypothetical waterfalls and you’ll make it to a piece that gives you a true mind experience. LED lights, brick, and brains, was the exact mixture sculpture major, Emily Harmon, needed to explain a major part of her life.

Harmon began experimenting with sculpture and this particular piece as a way of understanding what he changes that the neurological disorder caused.

“I used this as a way of communicating what’s going on with me,” Harmon said.

Harmon wrote a computer program to control the lights in her piece, which took up a corner of the room, was made to emulate the workings of the brain.

James Rice’s “Human Nature,” was the only exhibit to feature 2D pieces.

“I wanted to capture the mundane things that we take for granted,” Rice, photography major, said. “It’s so beautiful, but we are too close to nature to view it objectively.”

Rice “found” pieces within a 100-mile radius of both Cincinnati and Paris, France. Rice considers the 32 pieces featured in the show to be only a small part of an on-going series.

“I was used to be in production, I made things for other people,” ceramics major, Crystal Summers said, “Now I make things and create for me.”

A former glass-blower, Summers was adamant about her need to tie eastern philosophy, spirituality, and mystery together. Her ceramic flower-like pieces were mounted to the wall.

“This is not something you see very often,” senior at Highlands High School, Quinn Docter said. “ They’re gorgeous, they look amazing separately and collectively.”

Sculpture major Jeff Thornton used wood and steel to create his pieces, including a gazebo, reclined chair, and tables for his “From the Forge” exhibit.

Fine Arts Center Gallery Director David Knight has been working with the artists over the semester to help get their exhibits together.

“They up their own ante, saying “my work needs to be better than previous shows,” Knight said. “It’s exciting for our department to see where they were and how they’ve concluded.”

The exhibit was scheduled from 5 pm until 7 pm, but guests and artists were in the gallery well past 8 pm. Over 75 close family, friends, students, and staff attended the event.

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