Two artists showcased their art and heritage at Morehead State’s latest exhibit.

The annual MSU Art & Design Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibit provided Brenna Molden and Salue Gollihue the opportunity to present each of their art pieces in the Golding-Yang Art Gallery. Both artists pulled inspiration from their personal lives and family backgrounds to produce their pieces.

“I have a lot of Native American in my family and these are kind of inspired by my great-great grandmother Lizzie,” said Molden, who’s paintings used dried cow leather as a canvas. “She’s full-blooded Cherokee and Crow so she actually used to do stuff like this when she was younger so I wanted to find something that related back to that using what she would use.”

Along with the connection to her roots, Molden wanted her piece to resonate with all viewers.

“I wanted to make something that kind of related to people of Kentucky so these were inspired to make something that anybody can relate to,” said Molden, a senior art major. “Something that people can find a home in.”

Gollihue showcased a wooden sculpture that featured a piano chair, clothing and images from Kazakhstan, her home country from which her mother adopted her at 6-months-old. 

“This installation pretty much brings together the two worlds that I know,” said Gollihue. “The culture from my home country Kazakhstan and my world here. This is the life I’ve always known so it just brings those two together and finding the balance between the two.”

She said the art piece was an outlet to connect and learn more about her ethnic background and birth family’s culture. 

The fabric draped over the piano bench also paid homage to Kazakhstan, where the article of clothing was meant for women to wear during special ceremonies – for Gollihue, it was her senior prom. 

The piano bench itself, as well as some of the dispersed images, drew upon her adopted family’s history.

“Each image has its own time stamp just like a piece of wood does, so those are just two combined topics that just work together,” said Gollihue a senior with a BFA major. 

The exhibit will continue through May 11 in the Golding-Yang Art Gallery in the Claypool-Young Art building.­­­