Eva G. Farris Gallery

The Eva G. Farris Art Gallery is located in the Library Building of the Crestview Hills, Ky. campus of Thomas More University. Initially created to enrich the liberal arts experience at the University, The Gallery has become a leader in exhibiting local, regional and national contemporary artists and is one of the premier University galleries in Northern Kentucky.

For more information about current exhibitions, gallery talks, and lectures or if you are an artist interested in exhibiting in the gallery, please contact the Gallery Director Elizabeth Neal.

Upcoming Exhibits

Kelly Murray Frigard – Artist Statement                                                                         

“Since childhood, I have always been drawn to antique objects; they bring a relevance and history which contemporary objects do not offer. This experience led to my exploration of historical drawings and etchings from the Victorian period, starting with Edwin Landseer, who was one of the most popular animal illustrators during this time period.  

“Images of animals and children started to proliferate at the turn of the century as people sent greeting postcards and also read magazines like Harper’s Weekly which contained stories written and illustrated in serial fashion. Printed magazines were available all over the country as reading became an important cultural activity and literacy increased. In addition, life was documented and shared in wonderfully illustrated children’s books. One can imagine domestic scenes by the fireside involving reading and the slow activity of embroidery.

“Artwork and literature are rife with cultural symbols; they are a tool which teach our youth as well as shape adult behaviors. Morals abound in these tales, both about humans and animals. At this time, animals started to be seen as domestic companions and valued for their loyalty and compassion. Many of these prints show scenes of tenderness and altruism, while others illustrate acts of aggression and barbary.  

“These stories and the prints which accompanied them, had a profound effect upon public perception of the treatment of animals and children leading to new organizations for their protection including the Society for the Care and Protection of Animals (SCPA) and new child labor laws. Using research from this important historical period, I created a series of embroidered drawings on wool. There is a kind of nostalgia in these images, not of a perfect world, but a slower paced life with some sweetness. It is also important to note that the cultural awareness which awakened regarding children and animals unfortunately did not extend to all humanity, especially African Americans and immigrants. The resulting embroideries seek to shine light upon our collective potential for acts of altruism and bravery, amidst the presence of depravity.  How can we extend the generosity of animals and children into contemporary society so that all people can find tenderness, sensitivity to others and begin to understand our collective value?”

About the artist: Kelly Murray Frigard received her Master of Fine Arts degree in intermedia art from the University of Iowa in 1996.  She has traveled widely to northern climates pursuing her interest in traditional art forms including weaving, knitting, spinning wool, and felting. As a visiting artist in the arctic region of the Northwest Territories she worked with an Inuit women’s sewing co-operative and learned how to work with seal and caribou skins. Frigard received a Fulbright Fellowship to study traditional textiles in Sweden for two years at Saterglantan Hemslojdens gard and Handarbetets Vanner in Sweden and Jurva College of Arts and Crafts in Finland. In addition to her work in fiber, Frigard’s work includes mixed media, metalsmithing, and drawing. She is a professor of fine art at the University of Cincinnati, Clermont College. Frigard exhibits her work nationally and in Scandinavia.  

For the past 20 years her creative work has always incorporated animal imagery and themes to communicate the human condition in relation to the natural world, from the cultivated and domestic to the wild and untamed. Animal imagery can be crafted to become toy-like and playful while also conveying messages of power struggles, pecking orders, and the predatory nature of pack animals. Her latest work explores Victorian prints of animals and children from the turn of the century including children’s primers, Harper’s Weekly and Currier and Ives, through the medium of embroidery. These historical prints illustrate the emergence of a greater awareness of children’s and animal rights through child labor laws and the Society for the Care and Protection of Animals.

On June 21, 2007, Thomas More University unveiled the naming of the new Art Gallery as the “Eva G. Farris Art Gallery.”

“For some individuals, giving of their time and resources comes naturally. Eva Farris is one of these special individuals,” said Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, former president of Thomas More University. “She not only gives financial support to numerous organizations, but she serves as a committed and passionate volunteer throughout the community.”

A portrait of Eva Farris, painted by Thomas More graduate, Taylor Stephenson ’07, hangs on the entry wall of the Gallery. Ms. Stephenson is one of two Thomas More art graduates whose work was selected in a national competition to be displayed at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati.

Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday – 8:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday – 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday – 2:00pm – 8:00pm

Special Holiday Hours may change this schedule. The Eva G. Farris Art Gallery is located on the entrance level of the Benedictine Library. For more information, call 859-344-3300.