KOKOMO, Ind. — Raelee Puckett-Sharpless became an art minor by accident.
She took her first Indiana University Kokomo art class in drawing to “blow off steam” in a semester she expected to be tough academically.
“I needed a class that felt like play,” she said. “It progressed from there. I started picking up other art classes, and before I knew it, I was well on my way to the minor.”
She will showcase her artistic accomplishments in the IU Art Gallery’s annual student exhibition, which opens with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30. The show continues through April 16 in the Gallery, in Upper Alumni Hall.
More than 20 students will present paintings, drawings, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, metal work, mixed media, and other artwork.
As a fine arts minor, Puckett-Sharpless, Kokomo, has a featured section, which includes her paintings. She graduates in May with a Bachelor of General Studies and wants to work in an art related field before earning a Master of Fine Arts.
She posts pictures of her paintings, prints, and drawings on her social media sites regularly, but looks forward to exhibiting them in public.
“My work looks better in person,” she said. “I’m excited to have the chance for people to see them, and to talk about them and answer questions.”
She never expected to be an artist, noting that she focused on performing arts at Lewis Cass High School, playing baritone in the marching band. Her mother, however, was not surprised.
“She had my early artwork, where I drew in crayon on the walls,” Puckett-Sharpless said, with a laugh.
Puckett-Sharpless encouraged people to attend the exhibit, to see what kind of work is being created on campus.
“We have a lot of really talented artists in our program,” she said.
Other students participating in the exhibit are: Lexie Abney, Kelsie Smith, Brittnee Collins, Mary Shrock, Christy Russel, Alissa Krieg, Sandra Villafana, Charity Mussleman, Mary Ade, Maggie Pullen, Nicole Purcell, Elizabeth Jorgensen, Rachelle LaMonde, Tabitha Kennedy, Amanda Hedrick, Eyersalem Tsegaye, Ashley Laird, Kaylee Anderson, and Libby Kimbrough.
The IU Kokomo Art Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday and Friday.
Admission is free, and free parking is available on campus. For more information about the Gallery, go to iuk.edu/gallery.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.