Arts & Culture

Senior BFA, MFA Students Showcase Thesis Work in Instagram Art Gallery

photo of "Regurgitated Home" by April Wright
"Regurgitated Home" by April Wright is one of three works from her thesis "Gentle Cycle" on exhibit as part of a national virtual gallery on Instagram.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2020) Soon to be graduates of the MFA and BFA programs in the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies are showcasing their theses in an online Instagram art gallery. Originally these students were going to showcase their art in-person on campus at the Bolivar Art Gallery, but due to the current situation the shows had to be canceled. The thesis pieces are now available for view on the Instagram account @socialdistancegallery.

The Instagram account was created in response to gallery closings across the nation due to COVID-19. Benjamin Cook, a painter and adjunct professor of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, launched the account because students had worked so hard on their projects, he thought not to be able to exhibit them would be very unfortunate. Cook thought turning to social media was a logical alternative to showcasing the student’s works in person.

The five University of Kentucky students to have their thesis work featured on the account are graduating MFA student April Wright, from Germantown, Tennessee, and BFA students Marisa Braccia, of Old Bridge, New Jersey; Meredith Coffey, of Lexington; Margaret Simic, of Louisville, Kentucky; and Eliza Sturgill, of Wittensville, Kentucky. The artwork of the students on virtual display are: Wright’s “Gentle Cycle,” Braccia’s “Evidence of Things Not Seen,” Coffey’s “No Thank You,” Simic’s “Overdrawn” and Sturgill’s “A Long Way From Home.”

Their thesis art, alongside other BFA and MFA art students from across the nation, can be viewed online here.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies, part of the College of Fine Arts, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studiesart educationcuratorial studies and digital media design.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.