Five senior art students are showing off their talent this spring at University of the Cumberlands. Seniors Jakeline Esquivel (El Monte, CA), Hailey Martin (Corbin, KY), Hadrian Hudson (Annville, KY), Cameron Catron (Monticello, KY), Megan Strunk (Whitley City, KY), and Diane Maya (Pine Knot, KY) will be displaying their best artwork in two separate art exhibitions hosted in the art gallery of the Luecker Building on Cumberlands’ campus in Williamsburg, KY.

Artwork by Megan, Jakeline, and Diane will be shown from April 11 – April 15, and artwork by Hailey, Hadrian, and Cameron will be shown April 18 – April 22. All are welcome to peruse the gallery between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on those days.

There will also be two receptions to celebrate the seniors’ exhibitions, hosted by the artists in the Luecker Building. The reception for Megan, Jakeline, and Diane will be held Tuesday, April 12, from 4 – 6 p.m., and the reception for Hadrian, Hailey, and Cameron will be held Thursday, April 21, from 5 – 7 p.m.

More from the artists about their work and their experience putting their exhibitions together:

Diane Maya

Media featured: Primarily oil on canvas

Theme: Her son. “He’s six years old, and he has some anger, and his mind is just always running nonstop. So, my artwork is a combination of his experiences right now and my own perception of him.”

How this exhibition has challenged her: Time management and having the creative energy to complete her artwork. She runs her own tattoo business and is training new staff as well as completing her own tattoo work, plus taking care of her son, so it was sometimes difficult to have extra energy (physical and creative energy) to do her canvases.

Most rewarding thing about the exhibition: The reactions people have when they see her work. “Sometimes I’ll bring my artwork to the tattoo parlor, and they’ll talk about it. And my brother is my biggest hype man. He’ll be like, ‘You see this? My sister made this. She’s the greatest artist ever.’ I love it.”

Her hope for those who view her work: Bringing awareness to children with struggles like her son’s. “There are kids who are different, who sometimes need extra attention to help them calm down. Sometimes it’s just sitting down and letting them talk. Bringing an alertness that some kids are like that.”

Jakeline Esquivel 

Media featured: Mostly oil paint, a few other medias in some work

Theme: Collage. “This is my favorite type of painting to do because it gives me a structured idea of what I want to put on the canvas, but I can also move everything around or freehand.”

How this exhibition has challenged her: Timing her painting so the paintings are dry in time to hang them. Also, the framework for her other pieces and learning how to stage them properly.

Most rewarding thing about the exhibition: “The fact that, when I have mentioned my exhibition, people are genuinely excited for me and interested in going.”

Her hope for those who view her work: “I hope my artwork evokes happiness and makes the viewers want to touch my paintings, even though they know they can’t. Overall, I hope for the joy of coming to see the exhibition.”

Megan Strunk

Media featured: Oil paintings

Theme: Correcting mistakes. Abstract art.

How this exhibition has challenged her: “Significantly. This class is tough. And when I began the semester, I had a newborn. But as far as art, I’ve challenged myself to work on techniques, textures, and colors that I wasn’t as comfortable with and forced myself to use those in this series of paintings.”

Most rewarding thing about the exhibition: “The challenge itself is kind of rewarding. And I’ve learned a lot. And, it might be cheesy, but I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve gotten through this class. I knew the other artists a bit before the class, but we’ve gotten much closer.”

Her hope for those who view her work: Simply that they have a reaction and thoughts on what they see in her artwork, what it means to them. It’s fascinating to her how people can look at the same painting and see so many different things.

Hailey Martin

Media featured: Oil on canvas, charcoal on paper, ink on paper

Theme: Bright colors and textures of abstract works of moth wings, self-portrait, and a lucid, dream-like feel to each painting.

How this exhibition has challenged her: “Since this is the first time setting up for an exhibition, I didn't know what to expect and didn’t realize how much time is needed to put an exhibition together.”

Most rewarding thing about the exhibition: “Seeing my new works come together with a few of my old works is very satisfying.”

Her hope for those who view her work: “I hope my viewer gets a sense of a dream-like feeling where they can feel either calm or uneasy. I hope they also see the beauty and the mysterious patterns of a moth's wing and their personality that will also tie into how I see myself.”

Hadrian Hudson

Media featured: Majority are sculptures

Theme: None

How this exhibition has challenged her: “It has been stressful seeing how much goes into creating a successful exhibition, and the time restraint.”

Most rewarding thing about the exhibition: “To have experienced this as an up-and-coming artist gives me more confidence in what is to come.”

Her hope for those who view her work: “With the abstract sculptures, I hope for the viewers to find their own imagery and personal relation to each piece.”

Cameron Catron

Media featured: Oil, woodcut and linoleum prints, etchings

Theme: “My loose theme is isolation. My pieces place the viewer in a voyeuristic position of witnessing and experiencing different forms of isolation. I initially chose this theme because the world has gotten used to isolation over the past couple of years; I just wanted to explore how far I could take it.”

How this exhibition has challenged him: All of the preparation for the exhibit.

Most rewarding thing about the exhibition: Seeing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time.

His hope for those who view his work: “I hope that viewers can relate to the images I've created, but I also want to evoke a sense of unease in them.”

Students at Cumberlands have the option to pursue a degree in fine arts, STEM fields, and other fields. To learn more about the major degree programs the university offers, visit