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Student gallery draws on love for horses

aURORA HIGGINSON/Arizona Daily wildcat
"Da Cosa Nache Cosas" - Jennifer Kearney's solo show has taken over on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center. Kearney is a student double-majoring in studio art and art history, and uses imagery from classical Greece in her work.
By Lauren Hillery
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, February 17, 2005
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It is impossible to understand the magical connection that results from the human/horse bond - unless you're talking about centaurs.

Art history and bachelor of fine arts senior Jennifer Kearney attempts to express the significance of her relationship with horses in her exhibit, "Da Cosa Nache Cosas."

As a child, Kearney's family moved frequently, and her

horses became her only form of stability.

"We moved so much, it became difficult to keep making new friends, but we had our horses," Kearney said. "It got to a point where we got up, fed them, went to school, came home and rode the rest of the day."

"Da Cosa Nache Cosas," which essentially means "from one, is born many," is Kearney's first exhibit, so she sees it as a starting point in which she can continue to display her artwork.

"From here I hope other bigger, better things will happen. I kind of feel like this is a good year for me, because a lot of good things have happened to me in art related ways," Kearney said.

Kearney uses acrylic paints, oil paints, ink and pencil in her pieces. Her exhibit, located on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center, is in The Shadow Box, a glass enclosed display case in front of The Kachina Lounge and Gallery.

Her display includes several horse paintings, one of which was inspired by her feelings of loss after being separated from one of her favorite horses.

Besides horses, Kearney also enjoys fantasy, mythology and the natural world. Her black ink illustration of the moon is the only piece in the exhibit that is not a painting. It was also displayed at Starizona Adventures in Astronomy and Nature (5201 N. Oracle Road) for six months.

The piece required the most time to complete, demanding about four months, with Kearney working several hours a day.

"I thought it was a really cool compliment, because when I took it in, and (the gallery) thought it was a photo," Kearney said. "I don't think that's one I could part with."

This piece shows her attention to the technical side of art.

"Many dismiss basic skills and techniques as 'irrelevant,' and have neglected them in favor of freedom of expression. By doing so, they have done themselves a disservice, because without a thorough grasp of materials and methodology, they have no real freedom to express their ideas," Kearney said.

She equates this idea to asking someone who has no knowledge of language, grammar or syntax, to write a novel.

Kearney also strives to create artwork that is meaningful, which she believes gives it credibility.

"In this country especially, I think when people have too much freedom, they have nothing to say," Kearney said.

After going through a lot of trials and tribulation in her life, she does not see the need for painting the negative things in the world.

"A lot of people go for shock value or vulgarity as a quick eye catching way. But I think that's kind of a cop-out in a way, because it's too easy to do that," she said. "If you want to make something that really stands out, you put forth a lot of thought, and hard work and content."

Although Kearney is excited and grateful to have her first exhibit, she also views this as a learning experience about the business aspect of the art world, since the pieces are for sale.

Her exhibit does not have a message, but she hopes it has the power to brighten someone's day.

"I go for things that make me happy and if it makes other happy, then it s a fringe benefit," Kearney said.

Her exhibit will run through March 10 in front of the Kachina Lounge on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center.

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