NSU Art Gallery exhibits faculty work
TNE Editor

NSU Art Gallery exhibits faculty work

Published 2/9/16

Mercedes Montoya

TNE Writer                                                

Each semester, the NSU Art Gallery exhibits artwork for the NSU and Tahlequah communities to enjoy.

This semester is no different. The gallery is known for showcasing the work of nationally renowned artists and senior exhibitions of NSU art students. However, for a short time this spring semester, the gallery is displaying the work of NSU’s art faculty.

Five art instructors have artwork on display in the Faculty Art Exhibition. These pieces include watercolors, oils, digital media, photography and sculptures.

It is a change to visually experience a variety of styles of art,” said Melina Smyres, assistant professor of art. “There is a variety of subject matter and emotions to relate to in the content of the work.”


Each piece on display has its own story. One such piece is the digital media rendering “In My Garden” by Smyres. Smyres, whose work has been recognized by The New York Times, compiled this poster with elements grown from seed in her personal garden. Harnessing her love for organic gardening, Smyres took advantage of her summer harvest and individually photographed her produce. The photographic elements were then melded together in Adobe Photoshop to create the final poster image.


Another piece on display is “Fish Tales II” by Lance Hunter, associate professor of art. “Fish Tales II,” a watercolor, is part of a recent painting series exploring myths, both social and cultural. This piece has been exhibited in New York City at the American Watercolor International Exhibition.  Hunter has also received national recognition for his work published on the cover of Watercolor Artist, a leading watercolor magazine in the United States.


Sylvia Nitti, instructor of art, has four pieces on display including the watercolor “Roses and Carnations II.” Nitti enjoys working in oils, pastels and watercolors, appreciating each one for their unique looks and challenges. She has had her work exhibited at locations nationwide, including the National Pastel Exhibition of the Pastel Society of New Mexico and the 16th National Exhibition of the Eastern Washington Watercolor Society. Despite these exhibitions and magazine publications, Nitti considers her greatest art accomplishment to be the personal satisfactions she feels once she has expressed her thoughts and a painting has been completed.


The current exhibition of faculty work provides NSU art students with a unique opportunity.


“The faculty exhibition gives students a chance to see the actual artwork rather than digital reproductions and the presentation of the art in a gallery setting,” said Hunter. “This helps students understand the presentation options and expectations for their senior exhibitions.”

Additionally, the NSU Art Gallery provides members of the Tahlequah community with a free opportunity to expose himself or herself to this artwork in person. 


“Anyone of any age and financial background can attend,” said Nitti. “I believe that looking at art fuels one's own creativity and helps educate and build emotional intelligence.”

The NSU Art Gallery is open from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and from 11 a.m.to 3 p.m. Saturday. The Faculty Art Exhibition will be on display until Feb. 20.


Visit the gallery at 232 N. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah. Admission is free to all.

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