Alumni art show showcases variety of pieces

Miwa Neishi poses with her piece at the second annual alumni art show on Thurs., June 22, 2017.

Cody Patton

The Center for the Visual Arts kicked off its second annual alumni art show Thursday evening with a wide range of works, artists and snacks.

This year’s show will hopefully be a good time for visitors and the artists, said Allison Smith, graduate assistant at the gallery.

“We’ve got nuts, drinks and cucumber water,” Smith said. “So hopefully people will come, if not for art, then for snacks.”

Smith said the show has been in its planning stage for the last few months, but she is excited for it to start.

“We’ve been planning for a while, but I’m just happy that students can now come and see what can come out of this university,” Smith said.

The show features many artists, all with varying styles and approaches.

One such artist, Kent State alumna Miwa Neishi, said her art aims to bridge culture gaps and widen understanding of those who view it.

“My art, I hope, can be a gate for a multi-cultural experience,” Neishi said. “I want (it) to be approachable, but different.”

Dozens of people attended the show’s opening night and artists made up just a fraction of the crowd.

Yedzayi Nenjerama and Bari Yakubu are interns on campus and said the turnout, along with the art, impressed them.

Nenjerama said she enjoyed the variety of artwork.

“I love the creativity of each artist and how they can pour out their emotions into something we can see,” Yakubu added. “It’s amazing.”

Alumna Katlyn Baird created the sculpture from animal bones, cicada wings and polyurethane.

“It took me probably 12 hours just to re-articulate the bones,” Baird said. “Positioning all the little bones is what it was.”

Baird, another of the many artists who have pieces on display, said she finds comforting ownership in her art. 

“I get to create something out of my mind,” Baird said. “It’s all me, and it’s all mine.”

One piece that drew a lot of attention from onlookers was the work of artist alumna Abby Schnure.

Schnure said art means more than making beautiful objects. For Schnure, it can provide a kind of understanding. 

“The inspiration for this piece comes from the idea of how your mind and body process grief,” Schnure said. “For example, there’s rust on it because grief wears away at the body.”

Whether visitors came for a purchase, an inspiration or a snack, the staff of the gallery hope they left fulfilled.

“We just want people to come, see and experience art with us,” Smith said. “People can come see what alumni have been up to since graduation.”

The show will run until August 4 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Cody Patton is the diversity reporter, contact him at [email protected].