Student artists open studios to public

By Erin Shea

Need to pick up some holiday gifts? Why not purchase one-of-a kind artwork made by students to give as gifts and have fun while shopping?

The Art Graduate Student Association  is holding its annual Open Studio Friday night where visitors can see, purchase and be a part of the art sale in the Reynolds Building.

“[This event] is probably the largest visual arts event on campus” said Dr. Benjamin Withers, professor and Chair of the UK Art Department. “Most of the artwork is for sale. This helps out our developing artists and allows people to purchase holiday gifts.”

Besides viewing and purchasing art, other activities will be going on around the studios of the Reynolds Building. The metals department will have an aluminum pour for people to make their own relief sculptures, the drawing department will offer 5-10 minute portraiture and the ceramics department will be selling chili in handmade bowls along with others, said Waylon Bigsby, president of AGSA.

All studios in the Reynolds Building will be open for public viewing. This open studio includes artwork from students in a variety of programs at the University, and is not limited to art majors, Bigsby said.

Withers said opening the studios allows the public to experience the eclectic and exciting atmosphere in the Reynolds Building.

“[The show] is one true way to get an overall view of what happens in our art studio department and it gives students an exposure to the open public,” said Garry Bibbs, professor and originator of the open studio event.

Bibbs started the annual open studio 18 years ago as a showcase of student artwork. He said this year the event offers more awards to be given out, and the addition of a raffle of graduate student artwork.

A judged art exhibition of student work will also take place. The chosen best of the best will be displayed at the Barnhart Gallery said Withers.

This year the juror is  Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art at Washington University in St. Louis, Franklin “Buzz” Spector.

Bigsby said there will be music from WRFL’s DJs and a vendor booth from local artists.

“The general public should attend,” Bigsby said. “It is an opportunity to let Lexington know we’re here and let our art be seen by the city.”

The Open Studio takes place this Friday from 6-11 p.m. at Reynolds Building No. 1, 349 Scott Street. It is free to attend. Donations are appreciated and all proceeds will go to AGSA.