For some students, the art galleries are a forbidden wonderland packed with untouchables. But on Nov. 8, the Northern Kentucky University Third Floor and Main galleries in the Fine Arts Center were filled to the brim with artists, students, friends, family and faculty for the opening of the first half of the senior shows.
“The works the student artists are showing here are a culmination of their years of study,” said art professor Nick Bonner. “It’s great to see our students pull it together and put on this sort of exhibition.”
There are 12 works in the two galleries that range from graphic design to set design – and one piece includes both.
Samantha Reno’s “A Movement Yet to Be Born: A Manifesto on Art, Design and Life’s Infinite Possibilities” displays both of her impending Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees – graphic design and theater set design.
“I started my research in September of last year and have been working on it since then,” Reno said. The piece dominates the Main Gallery as a free-standing room jam-packed with graphic design elements and a working fountain. “It’s my manifesto as an artist and a designer,” she said. “It’s who I am.”
Another work in the larger gallery was Emily Coyle’s “The Things We Leave Behind.” The BFA photo major’s exhibit includes a series of images mixed with words to express how people’s minds work.
“This show is both a beginning and an end for me and for all of us,” Coyle said. “It’s the beginning of what I hope for the future and an end for my time at NKU.”
Due to the large number of students set to graduate in December 2007, the department is hosting two senior shows, the second of which opens Nov. 29.
“Each student had an idea when they started this semester and they’ve all taken the time to make it come together,” said Gallery Director David Knight. “This show is an excellent one. All the pieces work well together and it just sort of happened that way.”
Senior BFA graphic artist Tessa Pickel, whose work is titled “J ‘ E Fine Wines,” agreed with Knight’s take on the exhibits.
“It’s obvious to me that everyone put a lot of time into these works,” she said. “It turned out to be a really nice show.”
Although the show will close Nov. 16, the student artists are reveling in their gallery time while it lasts and looking to the future.
“It’s really an honor to display my work alongside so many other great artists,” Reno said. “There’s a scary statistic out there that says only two percent of people with art degrees go on to make art for a living, but I hope everyone (in this show) makes it.”