USAO students prepare for final art exhibition before graduation

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Closing reception for “Agoraphobia” to be held Dec. 2

Two students from the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma’s fine art program opened their final exhibition, “Agoraphobia,” located in the Davis Hall 3rd Floor Gallery on Nov. 13. The show will remain open until the closing reception on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m.

The fall 2023 candidates for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree include Destiny Miller of Bethel, and Zeke Simon from Morrison.

Miller’s degree emphasis is oil painting. Their inspiration mainly comes from a place of introspection, especially when they look back on their own childhood.

“I find it easier to paint my feelings, depicting memories and beliefs through symbolism and physical representation – so the subject of the work is more often than not an exaggeration of myself,” they said. “A lot of them are kind of dark, but it is meant to serve as a representation of how I blindly make my way through life – peering through the darkness to find myself.”.

After graduation Miller plans to begin freelancing and creating their own online store to sell original and commissioned prints. Once they have established their store, their goal is to pursue their master’s of fine arts and ultimately find a job with DreamWorks as a concept artist.

Simon’s degree emphasis is illustration. Their work explores the unpleasant emotions often experienced through the fear of leaving the house through digital self-portraits.

“The combinations of being isolated, having negative emotions because of that, and fears of the outside world are themes from my life that I try to portray in these pieces” said Simon. “I use my anxieties to inspire the color schemes to bring the feelings to the surface and let others sit with them.”

After graduation Simon plans to move to Denver, Co. with the goal of breaking into the comics industry to work as a comic-colorist.

USAO holds a BFA exhibition each semester as the capstone project for that degree. Students apply to the program during the second semester of their second year as an art major. Upon acceptance, they develop a single concentration after gaining a wide foundation in all forms of artistic media. For three semesters, students develop cohesive concepts through in-depth research while continuing to add to their technical expertise. The final exhibition formally presents the results of their intense study and research into their chosen form.

The USAO Art Department’s 2023 Holiday Show and sale is also located in the Davis Hall 3rd Floor Gallery. The exhibit is viewable through Dec. 7. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The exhibit includes 67 art works including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, illustration, graphics, fashion, multimedia, video and much more!

For more information, contact Jacquelyn Knapp, professor of art and art department coordinator, at or 405-574-1302.