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Three UC students display work in senior art gallery


Williamsburg, KY., - University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) seniors and art majors, Caleb Perkins (Miamisburg, OH), Jeremy Gardner (Frankfort, KY) , and Justin Todd (Beattyville, KY) recently displayed their artwork in the J.M. Bowell Art Gallery located on UC’s campus.

Caleb Perkins decided to challenge himself for his senior art exhibition and step outside his comfort zone. Since painting is what he feels is his weakest point, he chose to include several of his favorite pieces. Perkins displayed many interesting self-portraits in various art forms including a painting, wood work, and an aluminum plate.


“My favorite piece would probably have to be the self-portrait painting,” said Perkins. “It has an 80’s inspired color scheme and I just like the way it turned out."

Perkins often uses models for his artwork, in and out of the classroom. He shared several paintings that were drawn of volunteer models and one was of his ex-girlfriend. This particular painting had an ocean blue background and in the center was a lady’s body with an inserted painting of him over her face. He explained that he prefers for his viewers to make their own interpretations of his art but his intentions were to share a personal and emotional experience about his relationship with her. They had dated for about five years and had done all they could do to make the relationship work. He said he was mentally and physically beaten up inside and he couldn’t say anything to make the relationship last. The blue background can be interpreted as feelings of depression, sadness, or tears.

Jeremy Gardner, another senior art exhibitionist, grabbed the eyes of most of the viewers who attended with his life sized clay and plaster living room scene with a father, mother and child who portrayed domestic violence.

“This piece of art is made from clay and plaster and it is supposed to be a scene inside the home of a domestic violence dispute between the husband and wife while their daughter has to witness such abuse,” said Gardner. “The blue in the background and covering the man indicates he has lost hope, is full of sadness, possibly depressed, and unhappy. The wife and daughter are in white dresses and look pure and innocent, almost like angels. They hold hands in fear of the father and I put a light inside them which shines out of their eyes to show they still have hope of a better life.”

Gardner’s art collection included chalk pastels, clay moldings, and figurative abstractions. No matter what type of art Gardner is creating, he claims his mood plays a huge role in the outcome of his work. He likes and prefers a more realistic approach with his art although he is open to new ideas and art forms.

Justin Todd, the third artist to present his art creations, is very interested and talented in fantasy and magical art but has an eye for other types as well. Todd’s art display included graphite, mono-print, pastels in a still-life piece, clay moldings, landscapes, charcoal and more.

One of Todd’s pieces showcased in the gallery is a graphite piece he titled, “Chasing the Dragon.” This drawing is a precise drawing that pays close attention to detail, giving the pencil lead character.

“I really enjoy magical, fantastical art in all forms,” said Todd. “That would have to be my favorite although I also enjoy different kinds of art. One thing I like about art is that everyone has their own interpretations. My individual pieces of art are inspired by my moods or things I see or hear that might trigger an idea. However, my overall inspiration for art would have to be my art professor here at UC, Mr. Russell Weedman.”

Perkins hopes to become an art teacher and coach wrestling at the high school level after his May graduation from University of the Cumberlands. Gardner plans on graduating with an art degree and later plans on earning his masters in teaching degree to be able to teach art. Todd will also be receiving his art degree in May and hopes to pursue a career in the artistic world of video gaming.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit