Exhibits display local, national talent

Murray State’s Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery will be displaying both regional and national works of art this weekend.

Both the Kentucky National exhibition and the Kentucky Art Education Association Regional High School Art Show will be held tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. All works submitted will be displayed in the Eagle Art Gallery for public view, free of charge.

The Kentucky National is a biennial event which Murray State hosts in unison with the KyAEA Regional High School Art Show.

The Kentucky National features a survey of quality, contemporary art in America. This is the sixth year Murray State has hosted the event. According to Colin Tuis Nesbit, director of University Galleries, submissions come from across the country, representing different regions and demographics. This year, Kentucky National generated 167 submissions, he said.

The show is juried, meaning someone examines the portfolios submitted by participants and chooses the best ones to display in Kentucky National. This year’s juror is Jill Dawsey, associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.

“For us, a juried show is a fundraiser,” Nesbit said. “But it gives these participants access to someone and making sure they are looking at their work, which is an opportunity most artists are not going to have.”

Murray State holds the Kentucky National every other year for a variety of reasons. Both students from the University and others across the country benefit from the exhibition.

“Kentucky National gives art students an exposure to a lot of things that are happening right now across the country,” Nesbit said. “It is essentially a poll of contemporary art across the country.”

Nesbit also mentioned the show allows all the participants to build up their art careers by being featured in the exhibition.

“If your art is chosen, that

information becomes very valuable to

the artists who are trying to get into bigger shows or teach at different institutions,”

Nesbit said.

In addition to the benefits of the artists, Murray State receives interest from around the country during Kentucky National.

According to Nesbit, the Murray State

department of art and design’s website along with the Kentucky National website have generated more than 1,900 hits.

Nesbit also said the accepted artists will receive an exhibition catalog featuring all displayed works.

Also available for the public view are the submissions of high school art for the KyAEA Regional High School Art Show.

This show is juried by the professors in the Murray State department of art and design. However, winners from the art show will have their work go on to the next show.

Scholarships are also given away to the high school artists.

The regional show not only presents students the opportunity to have their work displayed and examined by professors, but also allows the students to meet with those professors during the opening of the exhibit.

“Students like to see all their work up in the gallery,” Nesbit said. “Ultimately, it is a great recruitment tool. The faculty has direct access to see the student’s portfolio.”

Although the exhibit opens tonight from

6-8 p.m., Murray State students as well as community members are invited­ to browse the Clara M. Eagle Gallery during normal viewing hours.

The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Story by Hunter Harrell, Staff writer.