Arts & Culture

From Freshmen to Seniors, UK Art Students Take Their Art Virtual for 2020 Exhibitions

photo of a work from "Systemic Symbiosis" by Emma Holland
photo from "Drug Addiction" series by Justice Jones
photo of ceramic bowl by Lauren Kinney
photo of Twitter slide for "Experience In Amateur Hour"
photo of "Dancing in Blue" by Olivia Hamilton
photo of unnamed piece depicting Loudoun House by Rhylee Childs
photo of "Destruction of Wealth" by Emma Wagner

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2020) It may look a little different this year, but the Bolivar Art Gallery's senior exhibition will virtually feature the artwork of the university’s graduating art students at the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies. Also premiering for the first time virtually will be the 11th annual Foundations Show which highlights the exceptional work of the school's newest students in Studio Foundations courses. Both exhibitions will be available online beginning today (April 24).

The 2020 spring senior show “Experience In Amateur Hour” is a presentation of the seniors' capstone research, which began in classrooms and studios and was finished online via Zoom meetings — with work completed in students' kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms across the nation. Over 50 students have participated, earning a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Design or a Bachelor of Arts in Art Studio, respectively. The exhibit will be available for viewing for the next year. 

“Experience In Amateur Hour” will showcase the artwork of these talented 2020 seniors: Levi Austin, Grace Barnes, Mason Barron, Olivia Beach, Jack Bennett, Tammy Bicknell, Karleigh Branscome, Graham Brosius, Ben Byrum, Elly Chappell, Grace Crawford, Madison Dercqu, Alyssa Dyer, Daniel Elekes, Drake Ficke, Ashton Garrison, Nyka Hebert, Dani Hereford, Marie Herzing, Emma Holland, Justice Jones, Grace Keane, Lauren Kinney, Samantha Klinger, Jacob Lee, Liz McHargue, Sam Myers, Ali Prather, Haley Robey, Jackie Rushing, Elisa Russell, Adam Sherberg, Caleb Smith, Eliza Sturgill, Kimberly Styer, Gates Sweeney, Madison Tavis, Seth Vanderpool, Charles VanMeter, Breven Walker, Audrey Ward, Susan Warren, Brandon Wright, Taylor Wright, Ajay Wooden Jr., Sophia Zheng and Michelle Zhu.

To view "Experience In Amateur Hour," visit

Foundations is a first-year experience for art studio and art education majors in the School of Art and Visual Studies. As part of this program, students learn many different ways of art making and gain the introductory knowledge of how to add a personal voice to their pieces. This show including work from 132 UK artists will be the first art exhibition that many have participated in. In addition, thousands of dollars in scholarship money will be given to students with the exhibit's best work.

This year’s Foundations Show was juried by Casey May McGuire and Mark Schoon, who carefully reviewed all entries and selected award and scholarship recipients. McGuire is an associate professor of foundations and sculpture at the University of West Georgia and Schoon is an associate professor of art at the University of West Georgia. The exhibition will also include “The Great Moon Hoax”, a collaborative piece by McGruire and Schoon. The work merges science and art by exploring the complicated relationships between observation, representation and understanding.

To see the Foundations Show, visit

Students participating in both virtual exhibitions have worked extremely hard to complete their work for the academic term, each post for a work of art has a detailed description that explains the motivation for creating the piece and the meaning behind it. SAVS students, faculty and staff hope the public will enjoy viewing their art while healthy at home. 

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 studio, art history and visual studies, art education, curatorial 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.