Courtesy The Bison

Visual Aesthetics, an art class typically taken by juniors and seniors, is currently showcasing its work in Midnight Oil Coffeehouse. Originally meant to occupy the coffee house last spring, the artwork is now on display for any Midnight Oil customer to see.

Midnight Oil manager Eric Mount said he appreciates the variety that is displayed through the art work.

“We tried to do it last spring, but then COVID happened,” Mount said. “Tessa Davidson reached out again, and the whole class came over and kinda scoped out where to put things and hang them up. It really created a dynamic look in here because there’s so many different artists featured at one time, which is fun. There’s something unique . . . having so many different artists featured gives you a lot to look at.”

The students participating in the class said they had lots of fun adding to their resumes and presenting their art pieces at such a popular location in Searcy.

Senior Collin Smith is a graphic design student who designed an art piece to place in Midnight Oil.

“Something that we’re trying to tackle is that in the modern day and thought, not many people think very highly of art because many things can be seen as art,” Smith said. “One of our main drives in that class is to help bring to other people the realization that there is a definitive form to art and a reason that we find things beautiful.”

Another artist who is also a graphic design major is senior Celeste Parker. For Parker’s piece in the exhibition, she took a new perspective on the biblical figure Mary.

“Art is something that lets me do whatever I want, whenever I want,” Parker said. “Choosing to portray Mary in a modern way was important to me. She’s a huge female figure in the Bible, and we see the same images of her over and over, but no new renditions. I thought it would be a challenge and help people reflect on their own opinions of icons . . . It’s such an honor. I love seeing and hearing reactions to my work. Seeing my art have such an impact encourages me that I’m on the right path.”

The artwork will be on display in Midnight Oil until April 30 for anyone who wishes to view.