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MSU students showcase artistic talents at University Open exhibit

The talented students in Morehead State University’s Department of Art and Design get opportunities to showcase their work on campus, locally, regionally and nationally. At a current art exhibition, MSU students have left quite an impression. 

At the LexArts Gallery in Lexington, 18 MSU art and design students, along with recent graduates, were featured at the gallery’s annual University Open exhibit, which showcases the talents of college students from universities across the state. Art of all types, media and sizes are accepted. Any undergraduate (seeking Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees) artist enrolled in a Kentucky college or university can apply.  

Of the 30 total pieces that were accepted for the exhibit, MSU students made up 18 juried pieces, or 60% of the pieces from accepted artists. 

"The Department of Art and Design faculty are very proud of and excited for our students, who have been recognized for their dedication to their craft by being juried into the University Open exhibit, as well as receiving awards,” said Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, professor of art at MSU. “The large number of MSU students accepted into this competitive, blind-reviewed exhibit demonstrates how creative and technically skilled they are.” 

MSU students featured in the University Open include: 

  • Mariyyah Alturaiki (19), silver gelatin pinhole photograph, MSU alumnus, Morehead 
  • Dallas Banks, ceramic vase, senior, Lexington 
  • Lydia Clay, colored pencil, junior, Taylorsville 
  • Bethany Crouch, tea-stained cyanotype, senior, Sharpsburg 
  • Addie Hogan (19), archival pigment print, MSU alumnus, Burlington 
  • Nancy Lewis, oil painting, sophomore, West Liberty 
  • Taylor Lewis, silver gelatin print photograph, senior, Paintsville 
  • Darcy McDaniel, photograph, senior, Hazard (work submitted and juried but not exhibited) 
  • Stephanie McNeil, painting, senior, Morehead 
  • Cassie Mullins, mixed-media, junior, Lick Creek 
  • Sam Neal, oil painting, sophomore, Piketon, Ohio 
  • Bethany Pace, print, senior, Clearfield 
  • Taylor Ray, photograph, junior, Irvine 
  • Paige Stamper, mixed-media, sophomore, Morehead 
  • Daneyl Tackett, archival inkjet print from an analog photogram, junior, Olive Hill 
  • Mardy Wells, silver gelatin triptych, junior, Louisville 
  • Megan Woods, inkjet print photograph from an analog chemigram, senior, Buckner 
  • Haley Younce, Intaglio, senior, Salyersville 

MSU students also received the following awards: 

  • Cassie Mullins: Second Place 
  • Megan Woods: Third Place 
  • Taylor Ray: Honorable Mention 
  • Sam Neal: Honorable Mention 

The LexArts Gallery is located at 161 North Mill Street in Lexington. The University Open is on display until June 29.  

For more information on MSU’s Department of Art and Design, call 606-783-2766, email or visit