Dateline: April 27, 2020, Athens, AL – Athens State University faculty, staff, and students at the Alabama Center for the Arts have had to adjust to a “less-than-ideal” ending to the spring semester thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. On-ground classes transitioned to online formats, and all in-person events were cancelled.

This consequently affected the bi-annual “LOOK” senior art exhibit, which was planned as an in-person exhibit in the Center’s main gallery. However, in lieu of cancelling the LOOK exhibit altogether, the Alabama Center for the Arts faculty members are turning lemons into lemonade and are hosting the exhibit virtually. With a virtual exhibit, the public will be able to enjoy the artists’ talents and join in celebrating their accomplishments.

“These past few weeks have been a challenging time for everyone,” stated Jessica Spowart, Athens State University’s Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design at the Alabama Center for the Arts. “I am truly amazed by this talented and resilient group of artists. Their virtual exhibit is a shining example of how the arts, and creative spirit, is something that the coronavirus pandemic is powerless against. It is my honor to have been their instructor this semester.”

The students featured this spring come from a variety of backgrounds, and their work explores a wide range of themes:

Sara Burnette “I am an acrylic painter who focuses on wildlife. For this series, I focused on the birds that I have grown most fond of growing up.”

Liberty Dare “I am a multimedia artist. I find my work through adventure and exploration.”

Sarah Dove “The artwork I created for my senior show aims to harness light itself as my medium. My goal was to create an experience for viewers to actively participate in the creative process while simultaneously savoring the intrinsic beauty of light itself.”

Jalen Green has a stunning display of graphic art that uniquely explores color with a mystic-themed display of nature.

Carolina Hurtado “Repetition and patterns come in many forms lines, shapes, direction, size, color, texture, value, and space. Patterns make an excellent subject for art because of their active nature and unique aesthetic. The enduring idea I have selected is based on movement, and reflects all the elements of art and principles of design.”

Caitlan Kessinger is studying to become an art teacher and utilized her talents in photography for her exhibit. “Art has always had a way of grounding me. I love all mediums of art and I hope to teach my students that no matter where you come from or how crazy life seems.”

Ethan Lane “I focus my works around color because it is versatile, unifying, and exploratory. Arguably the most exciting attribute of color is the limitless opportunities to explore how color can interact with itself.”

Rebekah Overcast “I believe that beauty has a deeper meaning and can be found in simple things, tasks, and people of everyday life. With my art, I am expressing what beauty personally means and is to me in my everyday life. My art expresses happiness, joy, and beauty by using bright colors, handwritten type, and simple illustrations.”

Sierra Phillips “As you explore my work, I hope you see the details and stories behind each piece. Through my artwork, I want to highlight the details of the overlooked and forgotten. I have used design and photography to show those important details.”

Alicia Walker “Throughout my journey as an artist, I discovered that I want to create things that evoke emotion. Typically, when I begin my creative process, I take into consideration how I am feeling or what I want to portray with that particular piece. Color is something that I generally experiment with to stir up different reactions from the viewer to the content.”

To view the LOOK Spring 2020 Senior Exhibit, please visit  If you are interested in purchasing one of the pieces of art, please contact the student directly through his or her portfolio.

The Alabama Center for the Arts is the region’s premier art center and degree program. The project continues a long-standing collaborative academic effort between Athens State University and Calhoun Community College and serves as a model of academic institutional cooperation for the state. The Alabama Center for the Arts is a venue for cultural events and activities and enhances an appreciation of art while promoting opportunities for creative expression for residents throughout the region.

Athens State University was founded in 1822, making it the oldest continuously-operated institute of higher learning in the state of Alabama. Offering over 50 undergraduate majors and degree options in addition to graduate programs, Athens State focuses on providing affordable, flexible, and high-quality options for all learners.