Christina Bernecker

Four Miami University art students recently earned recognition in the Cincinnati art world.

The artwork of Miami seniors-art major Liz Beard, art education and painting major Whitney Sage, and art major Joanna Lord-is at the Cincinnati Manifest Gallery in a non-profit exhibit titled “Rite of Passage.” The exhibit began April 18 and runs through May 23.

In addition, senior graphic design major Todd King won first place in the American Institute of Graphic Arts Portfolio Review, held April 12 at the Art Academy in Cincinnati.

“It was really great getting feedback from real world professionals-artists who have found success-who really wanted to help you become the best you can,” King said. “And it really helped me out. I actually got a job interview the day after the show.”

Dana Saulnier, associate professor of art, has taught all of the students.

“(They are an) exceptional group of students and some of the best I’ve been able to work with,” Saulnier said.

According to Saulnier, many students’ have work accepted into exhibits across the country and this is not the first time Miami students have been featured in Cincinnati galleries.

However, Saulnier added that it is significant when there are nearly 360 submissions from across the nation for one show and three of the 11 accepted are Miami students.

The students applied for acceptance to the exhibit by sending up to 20 digital pitctures of their work. The judges selected pieces they liked without knowing who the artist was.

The name of the exhibit is appropriately titled because the students accepted are graduating seniors at an important transition in their lives, Salnier said.

Sage agreed.

“It was really exciting, it’s been a tough year as a graduating senior,” Sage said. “It was really great to have some of my hard work recognized and it was also very flattering to be in exhibit with two other amazing artists.”

Sage said that the recognition of the students’ artwork is good for Miami’s art department.

“One of the most exhilarating parts of the experience is the fact Miami’s art department did really well in this show,” Sage said. ” … It’s nice to get recognition because sometimes Miami’s art department in general is understated.”

According to Sage, one the pieces that will be exhibited at the show, “Self Portrait: Dumb Blonde,” was a piece intended to make people laugh.

“It’s me making fun of myself; it’s something I’ve been perceived as before and it’s way to just laugh at it,” Sage said.

The gallery is located at 2727 Woodburn Ave. in Cincinnati. For more information call 513-861-3638 or visit