Liberty artists display work at Ars Nova

Studio and Digital Arts Department holds exhibit to showcase the talent of five senior Liberty students

ARS NOVA — Liberty students Kelsey O’Berry and Jessica Morrison admire Maria Eakin’s artwork at the gallery in DeMoss Hall. Photo credit: Katelyn Welch

Over the centuries, art has been a means of expressing emotions and portraying ideas, and has even been considered a window to the soul.

The well-known philosopher Aristotle once said that “the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

This semester, Liberty University introduces Ars Nova, or “new art,” a senior art exhibit showcasing the projects seniors have worked on during their time at Liberty. This year, each artist brings something different to the table as they seek to explore new techniques to artistic approach.

The show features work by Maria Eakin, Jasmine Myers, Kyla Potter, Abbey Sargent and Bethany Saunders. Each artist chose different avenues to portray each of their artistic styles, including portrait, digital painting and drawing, scratchboard etching, acrylic painting and pencil drawing.

“Someone once told me that there is no right way of doing art, there’s only what’s been done before,” Saunders said. “So, learning from the artist, you can either copy, or you can also come up with your own style.”

Each artist has their own reason for doing art and also have great expectations for this exhibit.

Photo credit: Katelyn Welch

“I hope that my art can go to places (where) I can inspire people,” Eakin said. “I hope my art encourages other people to look into art, to try harder, to broaden their horizons and to be inspired.”

“To get feedback from an outside perspective, that is what I’m most looking forward to,” Potter said.

Todd Smith, Chairman of the Department of Studio Arts and Design (SADA), said that he appreciates what these artists are capable of.

“Their gifts are given to them by God, and He wants to glorify Himself through what the artists do with their art and reflect His creativity,” Smith said. “It is basically a two-fold idea: first to reflect God’s creativity, and to bring God glory. That’s based solidly in scripture. The Bible tells us to be the salt and light,” Smith said.

Liberty is currently in the process of building a permanent art collection, including works donated by the Blue Ridge Plein Air Painters. SADA puts on art exhibits each semester, including works featured by regionally- and nationally-acclaimed artists.

“The Church has really regained the idea of how art can impact culture,” Smith said. “We live in a visual culture, so it’s such a privilege to know that rising artists in all art styles are going out into the field and making a difference for God.”

The gallery opened Nov. 8 and will display student art until Dec. 14. The event is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and it is also open Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about Ars Nova, contact SADA Secretary and Gallery Assistant Katelyn Coogan at

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