Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Kelly Greer resisted the idea of being an artist for years.

Kelly GreerKelly Greer.

After planning a career in healthcare and much opposition from faculty, she finally figured out that art was where she was supposed to be.

"Art is my passion," said Greer, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (B.F.A.) this May. "I look a leap of faith and pursued my talents, and I feel extremely blessed to have worked with the faculty in this program."

As their undergraduate careers come to a close, Greer and two other seniors will display their talents at the annual student art show that begins Wednesday, April 10, at the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery. Each senior will contribute a different body of work, using different art techniques and materials.

"The show will be diverse and really highlights each person's strengths," said Minda Douglas, assistant professor in fine arts.

The opening reception is from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Art Gallery, located in the Kelley Student Center. The show ends May 11.

Greer is the first student to use metalsmithing to create jewelry for the art showcase.

"I love the creative process involved in making jewelry," Greer said, who is excited to show her final pieces. "Each piece I create has a different focus, and I enjoy trying the different techniques."

Nature's textures, colors, and shapes inspire her body of jewelry. To convey this theme, she is using a process called etching, which involves transferring an image onto metal. Acid eats away where the image is not, "etching" the image onto the metal. From there, she forms the piece to mimic nature, while giving it an industrial feel.

"When people see my final exhibition, I want it to evoke feelings of peace and tranquility," Greer said.

Senior Cortney Jo Santiago will show off a different form of art, using printmaking and soft sculpture to put together her works titled "Planet Girl; My Journey." She is using dry point print to create some pieces that resemble kites and has built a chair that resembles a cloud. Everything about the art show "just feels right" to her.

"We've spent four years learning technique and processes, and now we are bringing everything that we've learned and like together," said Santiago, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Jennifer Honeysuckle is taking a different approach to her work by creating charcoal drawings of people, using their personal objects, and audio of their voices. Although the process was stressful, it's rewarding to see everything come together.

"We began planning this final exhibition in the fall, and now it's real," Honeysuckle said. "We've spent this entire semester executing our work, and we're ready to show it off."

In addition, the fine arts faculty will select best works from freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to display in the show.

Since the addition of the B.F.A., Douglas is pleased with the growth of the program and the progress the students have made to make this art show a success.

"As faculty, we strive to get the students to this point," Douglas said. "Highlighting their skills and going through this process is an awesome experience to share with them."

There is something for everyone to appreciate in this show, and that's what these seniors are looking forward to the most.

Each senior plans to go in a different direction with their art once they graduate. Greer would like to place her work in galleries and continue to make jewelry. Santiago hopes to open a community art center that has a gallery and will host art workshops, while Honeysuckle would like to continue creating art, work in a museum, or teach art.

"The drive is what makes the artist succeed on their own after the degree is completed, and these students have that drive," said Susan Skoczen, lecturer in fine arts.

"This is our chance to show the campus and the community what the fine arts program at IU Kokomo is all about," Santiago said.

The Art Gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, closed on Fridays, and open 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Call (765) 455-9523 for more information, or visit www.iuk.edu/artgallery.

Story written by Mary Olk. Mary is a student writer for the Office of Media and Marketing.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.