Art students gear up for spring semester

By Sydni AndersonStaff writer

If people couldn’t tell by the winter-themed painting spread across Winslow’s Hart-facing windows this winter, the Organization of Murray State Art Students is active on campus.

Caitlyn Hemingway, vice president of OMAS, said, last semester was “the most active OMAS has ever been on and off campus.” During the fall semester, OMAS participated in the Murray State Homecoming parade by dressing up as zombies. In addition, OMAS had a booth in Tent City, partnered up with the printmaking students for “Monster Mash” where they sold buttons and treats, and selected a weekly “Artist of the Week” whose work was posted on OMAS social media accounts. Shelby Clark, senior from Louisville, Kentucky, said her favorite event was tent city.

“We had to be creative in what to sell to raise money for the club and make fools of ourselves luring people in to buy iced coffee,” she said.

Hemingway said OMAS has been planning for the spring. To start off the semester, OMAS is holding a Welcome Back party with food and fun for “new and old faces” interested in art. The organization is also planning on participating in the Murray Art Guild’s Empty Bowls project. Empty Bowls is a workshop where people buy a bowl, decorate it, and donate it to the Empty Bowls dinner to raise money for families in the community with food insecurity.

“It’s a reminder that there are people in the community that do have empty bowls,” Hemingway said.

Every spring, OMAS hosts a themed art show in the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery. Clark said she is very excited for the annual student show.

“Last year I had work chosen [for the show] and won an award but I was not involved in OMAS. I am very excited to be behind the scenes and help put on the show!” she said.

Savannah Young, president of OMAS, is also anticipating the arrival of the show. She said they usually go all out with the decorations and entertainment for the opening night.

“Musicians, great food, kooky costumes – we even had a belly dancer perform for us last year,” Young said.

It will also be Young’s last OMAS art show. “It will be the last time that I plan out this event and celebrate with my art family before I graduate and pass the torch on to the talented students that will uphold our traditions as well as make new and exciting ones,” she said.

Not only looking to showcase art, OMAS is scheduling a day for gallery hopping in Paducah, Kentucky. OMAS is also screen-printing their own shirts and having a “tie-dye extravaganza.” There is also talk of a performance art event.

“Instead of just traditional walking through a gallery we want to get into performance art and explore that. We’re not seeing too much of that in the department,” Hemingway said.

OMAS’s “Artist of the Week” will also continue into the Spring semester.

Eriko Whittaker, freshman from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, said she is excited to simply be among the other artists in OMAS.

“In my opinion, art is best when art is shared, for I believe it enriches our lives,” Whittaker said.