Annual Holiday Art Auction funds scholarships

Story by Bridgette McAuliffe, Staff writer

Photo by Sara Howell/The News

Murray State students and community members are parting with works of art to further art education at the University.

The annual Holiday Art Auction begins at 5:30 p.m., with registration at 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 9; it allows students and community members to donate pieces of art that will be sold to fund Murray State art scholarships.

Kaitlyn Steward, senior from Uniontown, Kentucky, donated a still life piece to the auction. She has donated before and loves the excitement of seeing other people bid on her work.

“It’s a privilege and thrill to watch people purchase your artwork and it’s a great opportunity for students to socialize and view their peers’ work,” Steward said.

Entitled “A Study of Lemons on Blue,” Steward’s piece was originally a study of color and lighting as she learned how to better render objects realistically.

“I view this piece as a precursor to my current work,” Steward said. “It piqued my intrigue with the possibilities of color and physical applications of paint.”

The auction provides many Murray State art students with scholarships to pursue their craft through undergraduate and graduate study. Those who donate works are eligible to receive scholarships funded by the event.

“I see the art auction as a way to give back to the department that has given me everything,” Steward said. “This department has helped me find myself both artistically and personally, provided me with many role models, and offered me a safe and thoughtful learning environment. The least I can do is donate a painting.”

Carly Dothsuk, senior from Cadiz, Kentucky, hopes to use the opportunities she has been afforded through the department to pursue a career in art education.

“This is an event that takes the entire department to organize and put together and it’s super beneficial,” Dothsuk said. “I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Dothsuk is donating what she calls a “self-portrait of sorts.”

“The figure is segmented by expressive mark-making and color while still allowing you to see parts of the figure peering out at the viewer,” Dothsuk said.

Students like Dothsuk receive scholarships funded by auction proceeds to pursue their craft in one of Murray State’s many art studios.

Danielle Muzina, assistant professor of art and design, teaches painting to students in the art department.

“The purpose of the event is to bring the art community together at Murray State to do something that raises money for scholarships for art students,” Muzina said. “Any student who donates to the art auction becomes eligible for scholarships.”

Muzina got her start as an artist making collages with her grandfather, an artist who immigrated to the United States with her family from Croatia.

“When I was little I was raised by my grandparents and whenever my grandfather would come home for lunch we would draw together,” Muzina said.

One of her grandfather’s clients, a worker at Sherwin-Williams, would bring her paint swatches that they used to make collages and games.

“I always loved making things and it was one of my earliest joys,” Muzina said. “I have always been an artist.”

The art pieces made by Murray State students, faculty and community members can be viewed in the Clara M. Eagle Gallery on the sixth floor of Price Doyle Fine Arts Building.

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