Exhibiting Art and Community Service

Dr. Valeria Watkins Feminist Artist Exhibit

Dr. Valeria Watkins showcasing some of her work at the “Engaging Communities to Impact Social Justice” art exhibition.

An art exhibition, on display at the Hutchins Library through the remainder of March, features the work of the Feminist Artists of Kentucky. The exhibition, “Engaging Communities to Impact Social Justice,” includes works of six Berea artists, Trish Ayers, Pat Cheshire Jennings, Jackie Pullum, Mary Ann Shupe, Patricia Watkins and Valeria Watkins.

The artists were at the opening event on March 16 to talk with students, faculty and community members about their inspiration, motivation, and the people who benefit from the sales of their artworks. Proceeds are designated each year to support local causes such as a spay/neuter program and international projects. After a trip to Ghana, a member of the group suggested they raise funds to cover the expense of installing a roof at a village school and community center there, which they did. They also have raised funds to provide school uniforms by using Ghanaian textiles to make decorative fabric covers for composition books and journals.

The artists use a wide range of materials for their works, including acrylic and watercolor paints, three-dimensional fabric creations, mixed media, fibers, and quilted designs. Their work has included decorative art as well as utilitarian art, such as the colorful aprons they make and sell to support their projects.

Members of the Feminist Artists of Kentucky were recently interviewed about their work by KET-TV for a segment on Kentucky Life, which will be broadcast May 5 at 8 p.m.

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Art Department, Feminist Artist of Kentucky, Hutchins Library, Jackie Pullum, Mary Ann Shupe, Pat Cheshire Jennings, Patricia Watkins, Trish Ayers, Valeria Watkins

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.