Robert Wallace Statement

Eva G. Farris Reading Room, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University

April 13, 2009 – August 28, 2009

NKU’s Institute for Freedom Studies sponsored annual contests in Visual Art and Writing from 2001 through 2006. Four students entered the Visual Art contest in 2001; approximately forty entered in 2004. The theme of each year’s contest related to some aspect of the Underground Railroad and its legacy. The first exhibition was mounted next to the Raymond Lane, Jr., mural in the lobby of the Lucas Administrative Center. Subsequent exhibitions were installed in the lobby of the Patricia Corbett Theater. Jurors for the successive contests were Cincinnati artist Raymond Lane, Jr.; Timothy Rub, Director of Cincinnati Art Museum; Tuliza Franklin, Curator of American Art at the Dayton Art Institute; Terrance Corbin, professor of art at the University of Cincinnati; Columbus artist Jenita Landrum–Bittles; and Denise Burge, professor of art at the University of Cincinnati.

This exhibition consists of winning works from the Freedom Studies art contests that have been purchased by the University, purchased as donations to the University, or loaned for this show. You will see a variety of styles and media in which students have addressed issues of freedom present and past. Carola Bell found Sanctuary in an abstract monotype print in 2001. Monalisa Miller in the same year depicted Margaret’s Journey by creating a quilt she hung on an A–frame. In 2002 Geneva McCoy found Freedom in a charcoal drawing, whereas Hans Schellhas wrote social history with ink stamps in his First Class / Second Class triptych. Nicole Hall created her Preservatives in 2004 with photographs, stitching, and satin petals. In 2003 J. K. Long rhythmically spread words over the surface of her Enduring; in 2005 she dug words out of the soil and into the flesh in Burdens of these Lands. The artist’s statement that accompanies each art work was a requirement for entering each year’s competition.

As a sample of the contributions made by our external jurors, we are showing Timothy Rub’s juror’s statement from 2002.

Robert K. Wallace, Regents Professor of English,
NKU Freedom Studies Contest Coordinator, 2001–2006

Steely Library phone number:  859.572.5457