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Murray State Department of Art & Design Galleries hosts Visual Elegy exhibit Jan. 28 through March 1


The Murray State University Department of Art & Design and University Galleries have announced Visual Elegy, a collaborative printmaking exhibition in response to the poetry of bell hooks. Visual Elegy will be on exhibit in the Clara M. Eagle Upper Gallery from Jan. 28 through March 1.

Twenty-six printmakers from twenty different states contributed work to the project. Each artist was asked to make a print inspired by the poetry collection, Appalachian Elegy, and its author, acclaimed social activist, feminist theorist, artist, and native Kentuckian, bell hooks.

The project is the result of a collaboration between Nicole Hand, professor of art, and Carrie Jerrell, associate professor of English, and was partially funded by a professional development grant from Murray State’s College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

“Bell hooks is an essential and formative author for educators and feminists, so honoring her work with this portfolio was important to the diverse group of women artists who participated,” said Hand. “The exhibit is a beautiful collection of work, and the artists involved have been very generous and supportive of the project.”

“In the poems of Appalachian Elegy, bell hooks both mourns and celebrates her Kentucky upbringing,” states Jerrell. “The poems are grounded in the landscape and people of the region, but they explore greater themes including race relations, authority, injustice, family, memory, and environmental destruction. The prints in the collection offer viewers a wide array of imaginative and wonderful interpretations of hooks’ work.”

The project has been exhibited previously at the Murray Art Guild and the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, as well as in galleries across the country, including Arlington, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Knoxville, Tennessee and New Albany, Indiana.

The Clara M. Eagle Galleries are open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Social distancing and mask protocols are required. More information about Murray State’s University Galleries and the Department of Art & Design can be found at murraystate.edu/art.

Participating artists include:

Janet Ballweg, Ohio

Susan Belau, California

Jean Dibble, Wisconsin

Lydia Diemer, Iowa

Lari Gibbons, Texas

Nicole Hand, Kentucky

Anita Jung, Iowa

Karen Kunc, Nebraska

Melissa Harshman, Georgia

Michelle Martin, Oklahoma

Phyliss McGibbon, Massachusetts

Sandra Murchison, Michigan

Heather Muise, North Carolina

Ashley Nason, Colorado

Yoonmi Nam, Kansas

Nancy Palmeri, Missouri

Johanna Paas, Michigan

Kathryn Polk, Indiana

Althea Murphy Price, Tennessee

Kathy Puzey, Utah

Tracy Templeton, Indiana

Lenore Thomas, Pennsylvania

Rochelle Toner, Maryland

Cerese Vaden, Arizona

Sydney Webb, Texas

Melanie Yazzie, Colorado

Rina Yoon, Wisconsin

From Murray State University


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