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Gina Erardi  

Gina Erardi   

Graduating Year: 2020

Education: BFA Painting

“I chose NKU's Visual Arts program first and foremost because of its professors. I researched their personal artwork and found a diverse array of styles unified by their respective excellence. I believed that these artists and teachers could expand my perspective and lead me towards a path that would elevate my own unique skill set, which is exactly what happened. I am eternally grateful for Kevin Muente, JeeEun Lee, Marc Leone, and Steven Finke.”

Gina recently brought her mural design for the Newport Flood Wall on Dave Cowens Drive to completion for the city's 225th Anniversary! This mural, entitled "Education Empowers", tells the story of the Southgate Street School; the original building stands today and is now the home of the Newport History Museum. It was the first and only school for Black children in Newport immediately following the Civil War. The 19-panel wall will eventually become a chronological timeline of Newport's rich history.


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Oen Michael Hammonds  

Graduating Year: 1999

Education: BFA Graphic Design

Hammonds travels the globe as a design advocate and onboarding leader within IBM’s enormous design and engineering teams. In 2015, as part of Cincinnati Design Week, he conducted an in-class design workshop and spoke at NKU about his work in radical collaboration, user-centered empathy, and the legacy of IBM’s innovation-based culture that he has been integral in evolving. 

Oen was recently selected to be one of the jurors in Fast Company’s international 2020 Innovation by Design Awards. 

Career: Design Principal, Employee Experience Design at IBM

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David Mack

Graduating Year: 1995

Education: BFA Graphic Design

David W. Mack is an American comic book artist and writer, known for his creator-owned series Kabuki and for co-creating with Joe Quesada the Marvel Comics superhero Echo. Early life Mack graduated from Ludlow High School in 1990, where he had written and acted in many of the school theatre productions. Mack earned scholarships to Northern Kentucky University for five years, a four-year scholarship based on his portfolio of art works, and in his fifth year the Dean's Scholarship for academics. He graduated in 1995 with a BFA in graphic design.

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Jessica Holtman  

Jessica Holtman  

Graduating Year: 2019

Education: Spatial Arts

"Studying sculpture and installation at NKU, I fell in love with learning about as many tools, techniques, and materials as possible. As such, my artist experiences ranges in medium, scale, and aesthetic.
I work on murals, commissioned paintings, illustrations, personal figurative sculptures, and have found a recent interest in silicone based prosthetic, make-up, and masks. I want to learn as much as I can about anything that might come in handy with creating new works of art and so I've become a lot more adventurous in my material choices, working with urethane, resins, rubbers, and a variety of other cast-able materials. I want to combine these experiences and knowledge to continue to do things I've never done before. An upcoming adventure for me will be learning sewing and costuming. 
Above all else I enjoy working with the public, leading others on artist adventures, and becoming a tool for the public to experience creativity in their day to day lives. Over the past few years I've received grants and scholarships that have helped me achieve this, including the creation of a large permanently installed sculpture at the Newport Scholar House, funded in part through a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. If I can continue to have a positive effect on the lives of people through art and creation, I will continue to be happy. "

Career: Landscape artist at Laika Studios

Hollis Hammonds

Graduating Year: 1998

Education: BFA Drawing

Hollis Hammonds is a Kentucky born artist who has been living and working in Austin, Texas since 2007. Her work crosses media from drawing to sculptural installation and has been exhibited throughout the U.S. including solo exhibitions at Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC; the Dishman Art Museum in Beaumont, TX; the Reed Gallery at the University of Cincinnati in OH; the Museum of Art at Southern Mississippi University in Hattiesburg, MS; the Hiestand Galleries at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX; and at Women and Their Work gallery in Austin, TX. 

Career: Associate Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Visual Studies at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. 

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Tyler Reed

Tyler Reed

Graduating Year: 2014

Education: BA Visual Communication Design

Tyler Reed (BA Visual Communication Design, 2014) was accepted into the Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund — a program extended to give relief to creatives during the pandemic. Reed will be spending the month of August creating while using a beta version of Adobe Illustrator for iPad. Adobe selects creators for the program who are, “passionate about creating personally fulfilling work, sharing their journeys, and activating fellow creatives to craft the careers they want by empowering them with knowledge.”

Tyler is the creative mind behind the Rude Pets Club — a series of humorously illustrated creature characters. Reed was also interviewed about his work by Cincinnati Refined in May, and appeared on CincyLifestyle in June. In addition to his RPC work, Reed is an illustrator for Brill Creative.

David Wischer

David Wischer

Graduating Year: 2000

Education: BFA Graphic Design

Landscape artist, sculpture, illustrator. Active in pursuing art grants and public projects such as large permanently installed sculpture at the Newport Scholar House, funded in part through a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Aside from teaching amazing Art and Design students at University of Kentucky as Assistant Professor of Digital and Print Media, David also currently has work in an online exhibition, FACT/itious, at Morlan Gallery, Transylvania University. He'll also have work in the exhibition, This is America*, at UK Art Museum in October. David earned an MFA in Studio Art from Purdue University in 2012. 

Why did you choose to study at NKU SOTA?

I grew up in small-town Western Kentucky, and was excited to study in an exciting Art program near a big city.