Emily Hecker, Julia Higginbotham and Sarah Pettit, seniors at University of the Cumberlands (UC), are showcasing their Senior Exhibition pieces.

The Senior Exhibition lasts from April 23-27 and is located in the J. M. Boswell Art Gallery in the Luecker Building on UC’s campus, room 220. The gallery is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A reception will be held for the seniors on Friday, April 27 from 6-8 p.m. All are encouraged to attend.

“This year's seniors have done an outstanding job with their show,” said Russell Weedman, art professor and department chair. “It's been interesting to see how all of their work has developed over the past four years. The art department is very proud of this group of young artists and what they have accomplished during their time here at Cumberlands.”

Hecker’s work boasts numerous paintings, large and small, with nature as their central theme.

“I am a Christian, and I see God the most when I’m in nature,” said Hecker. “I’m just overwhelmed by His creativity and the diversity in everything, in all the purpose, forms and colors. We’re so busy now that we’ve lost our connection with nature. As humans, we like to think that we’re above nature, but we’re really included in it. For me, that’s a humbling factor.”

Most of Higginbotham’s work consists of “found objects,” such as an old chair, discarded pieces of wood or shards of broken glass bottles.

“I like to use found objects, redo them in a different way and make them functional to a certain degree,” said Higginbotham. “There is value in everything. It might be very little value, it might be very great value, but everything has value. Besides that, there’s the concept of time. I think time is circular, not linear. There’s no start and no stop. With these found objects, some people perceived their value to have reached its ‘stop,’ but for me, it hasn’t yet.”

Pettit, meanwhile, is displaying multiple sculptures. Three sculptures are especially large and were made by spraying insulation foam onto insulation board, then carving and painting the artwork to create striking finished products.

“I let the material do what it wanted to, then I manipulated it some to make it work for me,” said Pettit. “With my work, when people see it, I want them to feel something strongly. I wanted these pieces to be a presence. I tried to come up with figures and concepts that, when someone looks at them, they would evoke emotion.”

Each semester, senior art majors at Cumberlands put together a final exhibition of their current and past artwork. This spring’s art exhibition is open to the public April 23-27, in the Luecker Building on Cumberlands’ campus.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at ucumberlands.edu