MURRAY, Ky. -- Murray State University Galleries, in conjunction with the Murray Art Guild and the Murray State art education program, present the "Side by Side 2018" exhibit to be on display in the Clara M. Eagle Upper Gallery from June 10 through July 9.
Side by Side is a program that was conceptualized 15 years ago by VSA Kentucky to provide a creative outlet for students as a means of fostering inclusiveness and confidence. VSA Kentucky, which was founded in 1974 by American diplomat Jean Kennedy Smith, provides arts education and inclusion programs for children and adults with disabilities throughout the state. The Side by Side program, in particular, provides students the opportunity to work alongside professional artists. Debi Henry Danielson, director of the Murray Art Guild, along with Dr. Rebecca Williams, professor of art education at Murray State, coordinated the University's Side by Side program.
The 2018 Side by Side Workshop was called "The Hero in You: Save the Day!" After viewing examples of comics, each artist developed an original superhero persona, which involved creating an original costume that included a combination of masks, capes or shields. The artists then wrote either origin or adventure stories for their superheroes. After sketching out the stories in comic panels, they took photos of themselves in their costumes. These photos were then collaged into their final comic panels and bound into a comic book containing all the superheroes. Side by Side artists then created paintings in the style of pop art.
Workshop teaching artists included Dr. Rebecca Williams and the following Murray State art education students: Tya Cunningham (Murray, Kentucky), Tiffany Day (Harrisburg, Illinois), Emily Glowicki (Mount Vernon, Illinois), Caitlin Cronin (Paducah, Kentucky), Emily Netherton (Louisville, Kentucky), Allison Pitt (Crestwood, Kentucky), Michael Thorp (Nortonville, Kentucky) and Emma Wilson (Arlington, Kentucky).
Side by Side artists who attended the Murray State workshop included Christian Karns, Ezrah Siler, Garrison Kelly, Jayson Walker, Jonathan Petik, Lilly Higgins, Olivia Potter and Taylor Dobson.
At the end of the studios, Danielson and the Murray Art Guild forged partnerships among participants and artists in the community to complete collaborative artworks. Individual and collaborative artworks will be on display in "Side by Side 2018."