Eva G. Farris Art Gallery
By: Kelly Murry Frigard
“Sure Shelter is a series of drawings of dogs and one cat, all of which have been rescued from local animal shelters or picked up as strays. This exhibition explores how animals help humans form bridges and seek relationships of connection. The series of drawings reveals the sensitive nature of animals and our human bonds to them and seeks to question the positions of both the rescued and the rescuer as transformative roles, which encourage empathy and compassion for both creatures and humans alike.Â All proceeds from this show will be donated to a local rescue non-profit organization for the protection and aid of animals.
“There is one large image of a cat in the exhibition, Snow, whom I found as a homeless animal in New Richmond (where I live) a few weeks after my sister died from advanced-stage breast cancer. Snow came into my life at a time of great sorrow and she has been a blessing. Snow, like my late brother, is deaf and has a unique way of communicating. I believe that she was sent to me as a gift from both of my late siblings, Beth and Ryan. This past January, Snow was hiding under my car and without knowing she was there, I backed up my car and felt a bump as she darted from underneath. I thought I killed her, but miraculously, she was okay, and spent a week recovering in a box beside my bed. She is completely well today and is a blessing in my life!
“My sister, Beth, was a homeopath who dedicated her life to the care of animals working at a veterinary practice for the Oakland Zoo. Beth had two dogs, Courage and Laney, which are portrayed in this exhibition. Beth found Laney roaming as an abandoned puppy at a local community college and she adopted Courage from an animal rescue because he is a special needs dog. My beloved dog, Mei Mei, a grey Schnauzer, is also pictured in multiple images, along with the dogs of my dear friends, who were adopted from situations which are equally touching, creating new pathways in their lives.”Kelly Murray Frigard received her Master of Fine Arts degree in inter media 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 in Insjon and Handarbetets Vanner in Stockholm 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 teaches studio art and art history, and is co-coordinator of the Fine Arts Area at the University of Cincinnati, Clermont College where she is professor of fine art. Frigard exhibits her work nationally and internationally.
Art Gallery History
On June 21, 2007, Thomas More College unveiled the naming of the new Art Gallery as the "Eva G. Farris Art Gallery." Over 150 friends attended the celebration, which was a surprise to the honoree as part of the annual Thomas More College Foundation Event. After the unveiling, friends dined in the Thomas More Library and had an opportunity to tour the Gallery where a student exhibit was on display.
"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 College. "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.