Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Tarja Harney found her favorite art medium at Indiana University Kokomo.Imagery from the 2012 Student Art ShowImagery from the 2012 Student Art Show. See more student art.

"I had never tried printmaking, but I took a printmaking class, and slowly but surely, I fell in love with it," she said.

Harney is one of several students whose work will be featured at the annual IU Kokomo Student Art Show. The exhibit opens in the Art Gallery on Wednesday, April 11, with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m., and will run through Saturday, May 12.

Art Gallery Director Susan Skoczen said students have been excited to see what their classmates have accomplished during this academic year.

"Our students are doing amazing things," Skoczen said. "The professors chose the 'best of the best' student work, including printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics. We also have student-made jewelry, which is a newer art form available at IU Kokomo."

Seniors Harney and Wes Plantenga, both fine arts majors, will be featured artists in the show as part of their capstone requirement.

"The core of the degree requirement is to display artwork created during their time as a student," Skoczen said. "This show prepares these seniors for when they graduate and go out into the real world to place their work in a gallery. Tarja and Wes are very talented, and this exhibit is a great way to see a cohesive body of their work."

Harney's exhibit features prints and a ceramic piece, while Plantenga's artwork includes prints and mixed media paintings.

"We created sample pieces, and our professors talked about them with us, about what they liked and what we could improve," Harney said. "I think we really developed some good work through this process, with their help."

Both students are considering graduate school. Platenga, in particular, may pursue being an art professor after being inspired by Minda Douglas, assistant professor of fine arts.

"All of our professors care that we are learning and developing as artists," he said. "Minda especially helps us a lot. She has opened a lot of doors of opportunity for me with graduate schools."

Harney encouraged people to come see the exhibit, to support IU Kokomo's art students and see the creative work they do.

"We are doing some awesome things in the fine arts building. I think people would be surprised by the amount of talent here," she said.

The Art Gallery is located in Alumni Hall, and is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays; noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays; and is closed Sundays, Mondays and Fridays. Admission is free. Persons without campus parking permits should follow signs to free visitor parking. For more information call (765) 455-9523 or e-mail iukag@iuk.edu.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.