Art show reveals life’s lessons learned

By Jana Atcher

UK faculty who lean a little to the artsy side have come together to celebrate life, the struggle for survival and the acceptance of loss.

The UK Faculty Art Exhibit, which opened Saturday at the UK Art Museum in the Singletary Center for Fine Arts, features the works of 17 different UK art faculty members.

“Faculty shows represent what the department works on each year,” said Arturo Sandoval, who has worked in the UK art department for 34 years. “Our teaching is based on the mastery of the materials.”

Much of the work in the exhibit is linked to battles with loss and disease.

“A theme of survival emerged,” said museum curator Janie Walker.

Many of the artists depicted their battles with life, their triumphs and lessons learned.

Ruth Adams, an associate professor of photography, used a series of 350 Polaroids to record her 13-month battle and eventual triumph over cancer in her piece “Unremarkable.”

The exhibit also features several pieces by Ross Zirkle, an assistant professor of printmaking who died from cancer in March. His woodcut prints depict varying moods and self-portraits from his struggle.

Zirkle’s students and friends have already come to the exhibit to pay tribute to him.

“I’ve had class with all of the professors,” said Peter Owen, who graduated from UK with a degree in art studio. “Ross Zirkle was a close friend. I came to support and see his work.”

Dorothy Freeman, information specialist at UK Art Museum, felt looking at the art would have an impact on visitors.

“I feel like art has the capacity to move people in a very significant way,” she said.