Two Morehead State University professors and one retired professor are among 24 artists represented in the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Visions at the Capitol. The exhibit showcases the artwork in the halls, reception areas and conference rooms of Senate and House offices in the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

Among those participating are Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, professor of art, Gary Mesa-Gaido, professor of art, and David Bartlett, retired professor of art.

Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido has been a productive and award-winning artist for 20 years, bringing recognition to MSU and the Department of Art and Design since her arrival in 1992. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.F.A. degree from Ohio University in Athens. Mesa-Gaido’s creative work encompasses two- and three-dimensional media, diverse and innovative use of materials, and inter- or cross-disciplinary connections.

An actively exhibiting artist, Mesa-Gaido has participated in more than 130 exhibitions, including one person, international to regional juried, and invitational. Her pieces have been presented at reputable venues, such as the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Spaces, Indianapolis Art Center, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture, Mexic-Arte Museum, Alexandria Museum of Art, Speed Art Museum, Evansville Museum of Art, Avampato Discovery Museum, Cleveland State University, University of Kentucky and Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts.

Images and/or critical reviews of Mesa-Gaido’s work have been published in books, journals, periodicals and newspapers, including: In the Land of Mirrors: Cuban Exile Politics (University of Michigan); The Latino Studies Reader: Culture, Politics and Society (Oxford: Blackwell); Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Philosophy, Psychology and the Arts (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University); Fiberart International (Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh); Bound (The Women’s Caucus for Art); Dinosaurs of Distinction (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2003); Art Miami; The Nation, New Art Examiner, ART PAPERS and The Miami Herald.
Mesa-Gaido’s artwork has been recognized and supported consistently with numerous grants, fellowships and awards.

She was the 2013 recipient of MSU’s Distinguished Creative Productions award. Prestigious granting organizations include: Art Matters in New York City; Alternate Roots in Atlanta; the Kentucky Arts Council, both an Al Smith Fellowship and a Professional Assistance Award; and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, with three Artist Enrichment Grants. During her tenure, she has received two Creative Production Grants and two Summer Fellowships from MSU.

Gary Mesa-Gaido, a faculty member in the Department of Art and Design since 1992, teaches courses in digital art, animation, painting and foundations.

His creative productions focus on assembling large-scale panoramic photographs that are digital montages. Using digital equipment and a stitching construction technique, Mesa-Gaido records human activity within historical architectural spaces, such as plazas, courtyards, train stations, churches and museums. His method of documenting locations in a 180-degree rotation results in a unique panoramic view.

An active artist, Mesa-Gaido has participated in more than 100 exhibitions, including solo, two-person, and small and large group. His artwork has been supported through various grants and awards, including two prestigious Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Fellowships and three MSU Creative Production Awards.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University.

Bartlett was born in Minneapolis, Minn. and raised in Green Bay, Wis. After graduating from Carleton College (Minn.), he joined the Peace Corps, teaching high school in Micronesia.

After the Peace Corps and a master's degree in philosophy from Yale University, he received his first training in photography. This led him to further pursue his interest in art at the University of Michigan, where he earned an M.F.A. degree.

Bartlett taught art at Morehead State since 1980 until he retired in 2013. Besides the Al Smith Fellowships (1996 and 2005), he received a Distinguished Creative Productions Award from MSU in 2002. He has garnered more than 50 national and regional juried show prizes and has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally.

The exhibit coincides with the annual session of the Kentucky General Assembly and features 63 works of art from artists across the Commonwealth. Four of the pieces are included as awards of distinction from the arts council's "identity" exhibit that showcases work by artists with disabilities.

“We're delighted to curate this exhibit each year during the legislative session to showcase the work of Kentucky's artists for their elected officials,” said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. “The arts council receives great feedback on the exhibit from members of the Kentucky General Assembly who enjoy the work produced by the Commonwealth's artists, especially by artists in their home districts.”

Artists invited to participate in the exhibit are adjudicated members of the arts council's Kentucky Crafted program or are recipients of an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship Award or Governor's Award in the Arts.

The exhibit is open to the public.

Participating artists and home counties are: Marianne Brown Mize, clay, Anderson; Jane Cochran, fibers, Boone; Diane Smallwood, watercolor, Boyd ; Eva King Eva, paper, Calloway; Philis Alvic, fibers, Fayette; Wendy Currier, pen and ink, Fayette; Steve Davis-Rosenbaum, maiolica on terracotta, Fayette; Linda Fugate-Blumer, photography, Fayette; Elsie Harris, acrylic on canvas, Fayette; Steven Hornbach, mixed media, Fayette;

Shirley Jeter, watercolor, Fayette; Rodney Wilson, acrylic, Fayette; Carol Shutt, photography, Fleming; David Toczko, photography, Hardin; Ying Chan, ink on paper, Jefferson; Judy Rosati, photography, Jefferson; Guinever Smith, oil on wood, Jefferson; Jack Cochran, oil on linen, Jessamine; Pat Banks, watercolor, Madison; Bruce Frank, archival photographic print, Scott; and Alexey Stiop, photography, Scott.

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