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ONU Art & Design professors to serve as AICUO judges

December—Ohio Northern University’s Art & Design Professors Luke Sheets and Melissa Eddings were recently selected to serve as first-round judges for this year’s Excellence in the Visual Arts award competition sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO).

Judges for the AICUO Art Award are handpicked in a rigorous selection process designed to create a diverse jury every year. The first round judges are faculty members from college art departments in every region of Ohio. These instructors are faculty members who are either recommended by their department chairs or who have been noticed for their outstanding work outside of school. The second round judges group consists of professionals who have received widespread and local recognition in the arts. They are accomplished art directors, curators, administrators, working artists, and organization leaders.

The AICUO EVA is six awards presented to senior art students who attend independent institutions in Ohio and have been nominated by department chairs or deans. The first round of judging consists of art department faculty from member institutions, while second round judges are community leaders from Ohio involved in the visual arts.

As the nation’s first intercollegiate online arts competition, the AICUO EVA recognizes outstanding students from the art programs at independent colleges and universities in every region of Ohio. Launched in 2008, the EVAs uses the Internet as a venue for the awards, providing each nominated student with a permanent online portfolio on the AICUO Award Web site,

Luke Sheets is an assistant professor in ceramics and director of the 3D program at Ohio Northern’s Department of Art & Design. He earned his BFA from Ohio Northern University and his MFA from Bowling Green State University. His research interests include experimenting with clays and glazes to discover how they react with wood-kiln firing and incorporating local materials into the process. His work has been accepted into many national competitions including the Majestic Galleries’ National Juried Competition 2009, the “Drink: Functional Forms for Every Libation” international competition, the 8th Annual National Juried Cup Show and the 6th Annual “It’s Only Clay” National Exhibition. In 2005, he had work included in “500 Cups: Ceramic Explorations of Utility and Grace,” a book published by Lark Books. This past year, he also was invited to speak at the first international conference on research and trends in wood firing. At ONU, Prof. Sheets teaches ceramics, sculpture and 3D design.

Melissa Eddings is associate professor in the department of art & design at Ohio Northern University, where she is also director of the Elzay and Stambaugh Studio Theatre galleries. She holds a BFA degree from Ohio University in Athens and an MFA degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at ONU since 1997, served as chair from 2000–2002 and currently teaches painting, printmaking and foundation courses in the department of art & design. Melissa has been accepted to numerous juried shows including ArtSpace/Lima, the Findlay Art League, and the Ohio Art League. She also has had work on exhibit at Thiel College, Bluffton University, Ohio Northern University and Edinboro University. She also was recently accepted into the Monumental Ideas in Miniature Books Project that travelled worldwide and curated the exhibition “Undercover: 6 Artists/24 Books” held at ArtSpace/Lima.

Ohio Northern University’s quality, student-centered education distinctively combines nationally ranked sciences, arts and professional programs for more than 3,600 students in its five colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2012–13 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.