Arts & Culture

In the BAG: Exhibits by Steve Armstrong and Kristina Estell

photo of art from "Feeling the Distance" by Kristina Estell
photo of art from "At Work" by Steve Armstrong

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2018) Come explore work by two solo artists, University of Kentucky’s own Kristina Estell and Steve Armstrong, at the opening of new exhibits in the Bolivar Art Gallery 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Through the run of the shows, the graduating MFA students from UK’s School of Art and Visual Studies will present their thesis exhibitions. Estell and Armstrong’s work will be on display through March 9. The opening reception and exhibitions are free and open to the public.

At noon Friday, Feb. 16, artist Steve Armstrong will be on site to discuss his work in a free public lecture. Armstrong, who holds a bachelor’s degree from UK, is a 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient of the College of Fine Arts.

For the past year, Armstrong has been working in the SAVS wood shop as an artist-in-residence, creating his own work while also engaging and assisting students in their art making. The artist’s exhibit, “At Work,” is largely figurative and often involves a kinetic element, literally animating the sculptures in the gallery space.

“I am very much left with the feeling that I have come full circle — from being a student in the art department in the 1960s and 70s, studying with iconic professors such as Clifford Amyx and John Tuska, then having consecutive careers as a Montessori pre-school director and 25 years (so far) as a full-time working artist,” Armstrong said. “And now I find myself back in academia, working with and being energized and inspired by students and faculty. I love it!”

At noon Friday, March 2, artist Kristina Estell will deliver a free public talk on her work at Bolivar. Estell earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis and a master’s degree from University of Minnesota. She also studied at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine.

Estell’s “Feeling the Distance” is a collaborative, international mail art project that began in 2015. Twenty-two raw drywall boxes containing a single stone were mailed to locations within the US and around the world. This exhibition displays the round-trip results of the project revealing the physical impact of the varied geographic journeys.

Estell is a visual artist who creates sensitive material experiences that process and archive architectural forms, natural objects and spaces. She exhibits nationally and internationally and has participated in artist residencies in the U.S., Germany, Japan and Hungary. Estell is based in Duluth, Minnesota, but currently is working in Galveston, Texas.

Armstrong and Estell’s exhibits will be on display Feb. 15-March 9, at Bolivar Art Gallery, on the first floor of the UK School of Art and Visual Studies Building, located at 236 Bolivar St. The exhibition is available for viewing during regular gallery hours 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. These exhibitions will also be available for viewing from 5-8 p.m. Friday, March 16, during Lexington’s Gallery Hop.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies, at the UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studio, art history and visual studies, art education, and digital media and design.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue