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Showcase of Graduating Artists Opens at The Carnegie on Friday

Convocation: A regional showcase of graduating artists closes The Carnegie’s exhibit season April 24-June 13. There will be an opening night preview conversation at 5:30 p.m. and a free reception from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m on Friday.

Work by outstanding graduating seniors and MFA candidates from Art Academy of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, University of Cincinnati, School of Art (DAAP), and the University of Kentucky is showcased. Matt Distel, Exhibitions Director for The Carnegie, calls the show “a fantastic opportunity to catch young artists as they are just setting out in their careers.”

Northern Kentucky University is represented by John David Richardson, Katie Hurier (Lipps) and Emily Sweithorn.

Alabama native Richardson graduates with a BFA in Applied Photography and will pursue an MFA in Photography. His work has been widely seen in the region including the 2015 Summerfair Emerging Artist Exhibition, 2014 FotoFocus Biennial and Covington Arts.

About his work Safe and Sound, Richardson says, “I have always been curious as to what convinces people to stay, to continue with the life they lead.  At the same time, what can make someone break away from what feels comfortable, and travel willingly into the unknown? 

“My newest series, Safe and Sound, delves into how our modern society deals with emotion and how pivotal moments in our lives directly affect our actions and the paths we choose to take.  I seek out the quiet moments between moments, where everything is still, and the character experiences a feeling of self-realization and solidarity.”

Hurier, who is from the area, calls her camera “a tool that has helped me refine my vision.  With the help of post processing in multiple applications, I have been able to express my point of view, with help from my first degree in graphic imaging.”

"Fabricate is a series of photographs in which the world has become unfamiliar and surreal…My idea was to photograph a familiar place and fabricate it with layered images to create uncertainty and uniqueness in each image. Every entrance in our city leads to something new for us to explore, whether it’s pleasant or not. It’s human nature to be curious to explore new areas of our world and fabricate our own idea of it." 

"Fabricate shows a surreal world that has familiarity to make it welcoming and intriguing for the viewer to explore more...It allows us to use our imagination and to escape reality for a moment hoping the viewer is willing to go along for the ride. Use your imagination and explore each location carefully in this series, recognize the known and recognize the unknown.”

Wiethorn is also local and graduates with a degree in Applied Photography. She’ll pursue a MFA in Photography in fall. She is the recipient of a Full Tuition Governor's Scholars Award for her four years at NKU and has permanent work installed on campus.

Her work in Convocation, Wiethorn says, speaks to the underlying feeling of vulnerability she’s had throughout her life.

“I always felt raw and exposed to other people’s opinions and judgments. Whether it be through physical appearance, intellect, or societal norms; I’ve never felt completely comfortable in my own skin or surroundings. I started this project by giving myself a personal challenge to create a self-portrait every day for a month…There were days where I felt peace and an intimate connection to the natural surroundings, and others where anger and frustration took over when inspiration and motivation ran slim." 

"Being mostly nude in this body of work, I am able to connect organically to not only nature, but also the vulnerable content of each image.”

Distel hopes to make Convocation an annual exhibition, and expand the number of participating universities. “This show is not just about providing a platform for young artists, it also showcases these artists for regional curators, writers, collectors, and anyone interested in the art scene in Cincinnati.”

Convocation, through June 13, The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington. Gallery hours: 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.

-Staff report/Photo: Katie Hurier's "Leading Lady" (provided)