Art grads say farewell

After a long journey, nine senior art students can finally close the books for good.

The soon-to-be Northern Kentucky University alumni have some of their best work displayed in the fine arts gallery.

Mike Maydak, who has been entertaining NKU with his comic strip Slimbone for the last two years, is exhibiting a different body of work.

Maydak presents his newest creation “Worlds,” where he takes cartooning to a new level. “Worlds” consists of five well-developed characters designed to fight and win. These 32- by 40- inch illustrated characters are brilliantly colored and drawn with such clean lines they appear to be popping off the page.

Maydak’s favorite character, Dr. Zarabara: the mender of the mind, modeled after Maydak’s drawing professor, oozes creepy creativity and the possibility of a dark side.

Maydak started his college career as journalism major, but fell short of words. Stumbling on to illustration, Maydak found it enabled him to portray detail that he was never able to achieve with words. If you enjoy Maydak’s black and white comic strip, you should really see what he does with color on a large format.

Almost comic-like, Clint Woods presents viewers with a visual diary of computer-manipulated images that are mostly black and white with a pastel splashes of color to draw the viewer’s eye to the focal point.

The entire body of work is a little eerie and murky, while at the same time playful.

Woods posed himself behind a mask made of a long, pointed rectangle, beak-like nose; then ventured into his past memories and experience, to create a creepy yet tantalizing image that draws the audience into his weird world. Woods said he believes “people’s personalities are made of an accumulation of memories and experiences.”

He told a sequential story of his life in the past year from break-ups to his baby girl growing up.

In addition to the wonderfully dark, black and white work, Woods made a movie using these same images from his work, and brought them to life with emotion, music and movement. It’s nice to have another student following the greater art world mixing 2-D, 3-D and video arts.

If you think the prints are morbid, you will think the movie deadly. The short film is necessary to see, seeing as how it is more interesting than many big-budget flicks released this year.

On the other side of the creative spectrum, Kathleen Piercefield stands with her printmaking process, utilizing the paper plate lithograph. Piercefield’s work is a reaction to a re-reading of Melville’s age-old story of Moby Dick.

While attending Dr. Robert Wallace’s class “Melville and the Arts,” Piercefield created this series dealing with more than the famous whale, but the people and cultures that the crew would have come across during their voyage.

Piercefield said she has “dreamed of the hidden connections that bind all living beings and cultures and revealed in the treasures of the human mind, unique and mysterious.”

Her work is distinctive and mystifying with the use of strange, ancient fish and natives tattooed. Wallace is “very proud of the work she has created.” She has taken history and combined it with truths and feelings to produce a moving body of work that entices the viewer to join the search for the great allusive white whale.

Blake Sellman’s interactive sculpture “7-Negotiations” is a dysfunctional group swing that “enables one to observe or participate in an exaggerated idea of growing up and learning how to socialize through trial and error.”

The swing hangs from the ceiling by two steel wheels with coarse rope and smooth wood seats that look like they have been used over the past century. Sellman’s piece became a weekend play-land at the Ceramics and Sculpture Building before it was moved to the gallery.

Many students have used it to socialize and work out their frustrations by swinging and bumping into one author. It is more like a mosh pit with seats and rope.

The small gallery displays the work of three powerful graphic design majors.

Terri Woesner presents “An Emperors Dynasty,” which deals with illustration and the creation of a deck of cards using her graphic design skills and interest in history.

Jennifer Ferris uses graphic design to “illustrate the dynamics if forensic sciences in a murder case.” A must see for all those CSI buffs.

Jacob Wilhelmus has taken his love for cars and graphic design and combined them to build his own dream car for Mitsubishi, the D800XE. His car depicts style, power and the need for speed. Wilhelmus has developed his own industrial design without an industrial design department to support him. He makes you want to drive his car.

These and other artist’s works are on display until Dec. 17 in the Fine Arts galleries.

The galleries are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.