Spring Art Show Combines Current Students, Alumni

A spring art exhibit combining the work of graduating seniors and alumni is planned at William Woods University April 3 through May 3. The exhibit will be held in the Mildred M. Cox Gallery of the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts.

An opening reception for the seniors will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 3, while a reception for the alumni exhibit will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 26, during the university’s Alumni Weekend.

The featured seniors, all graphic design majors, are: Max Berkbigler of Wellsville, Mo., Andrew Long of Stockton, Calif., Clinton Rowden of Sedalia, Mo., Melissa Simons of Ossining-on-Hudson, N.Y., and Maggie Stolzberg of Chesterfield, Mo.

Alumni exhibiting their work are Romney Oualline Nesbitt of Jenks, Okla., a 1977 graduate, and Audrey Schmitz of Tonkawa, Okla., a 1979 graduate. They are former college roommates.

After receiving her bachelor of fine arts degree from William Woods, Nesbitt returned to her home state of Oklahoma and earned a master’s degree in painting from the University of Tulsa. She will graduate with a master’s of divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Okla., in December 2003.

She is the pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Mannford, Okla. As a minister, she now expresses her faith visually by combining her love of art with her passion for ministry.

“I’m blazing a new trail in ministry by blending my two passions—art and ministry—through my artwork and in my church,” she explained. “I promote creativity as a spiritual practice.”

Nesbitt’s part of the exhibit consists of paintings grouped as “The Women’s Wheel of Life: Women’s Archetypes,” depicting the 12 stages of a woman’s life.

Originally from Argyle, Mo., Schmitz earned an M.A. from Northwestern Oklahoma State University after receiving her bachelor of fine arts degree from William Woods. Currently, she serves as an instructor of ceramics, sculpture and art history, as well as director of the Eleanor Hays Gallery, at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Okla.

Working with clay, photography, wood and glass, she creates sculptural forms that integrate human elements and inspirations from nature. She said she hopes her constructions “convey a sense of mystery, allowing the viewer to peer through openings as a voyeur into a secret space.”

She said she is “inspired by sacred rituals and ancient cultural remains in fusion with contemporary issues in our consumer-driven society.”

Schmitz calls her selection of pieces for the WWU exhibit “Reverie.”

The Cox Gallery is open to the public, free of charge, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 1- 4 p.m. Call 573-592-4245 for more information.