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For immediate release…
Thursday – April 9, 2015

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – On April 25 and 26 the Covington branch of the Kenton County Public Library will host a marathon reading of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick to celebrate the exhibition of 105 Moby-Dick artworks created by 53 Northern Kentucky University students over the past two decades. 

On Monday, April 27, NKU will host an all-day symposium on Moby-Dick and the Arts in which national leaders in the field will share their experiences along with the NKU student artists.  All events are free, as is a panel discussion at the Cincinnati Art Museum that will open the four-day Moby-Dick Arts Fest on the evening of April 24.

The Moby-Dick Marathon will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26. Participants will read the novel from beginning to end in the exhibition space in the library at 502 Scott Blvd. in Covington. Readers can sign up for a 10-minute period on either day at mobydick.   

The exhibition Moby Comes to Covington can be viewed in the library from April 17 to May 15. A full-color catalog edited by co-curators Robert K. Wallace and Emma Rose Thompson accompanies the exhibition. Dr. Wallace has taught Moby-Dick at NKU since 1972. Ms. Thompson is an NKU art history major who took Dr. Wallace’s class in Moby-Dick and the Arts in 2013. She designed the exhibition catalog and has been an equal partner in planning all Arts Fest events.

“The Covington public library will be a wonderful venue for both the marathon reading and the art exhibition,” Dr. Wallace said. “We are thrilled that Moby-Dick and the artwork it has inspired can be experienced by the Northern Kentucky community in this way. Anyone who visits the exhibition or attends the marathon will be impressed by the beauty of the building and the creativity of the students who have responded to the novel by making art of their own.”

The all-day symposium in NKU’s Budig Theater on April 27 will begin at 9 am with a keynote address by Elizabeth Schultz, author of Unpainted to the Last. Moby-Dick artist Matt Kish and Chicago educator Jeff Markham will join NKU student artists in panel discussions on “Creating Moby-Dick Art” and “Moby-Dick Art in the Classroom.” Samuel Otter, editor of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, will deliver closing remarks at the end of the symposium, after which the Arts Fest will conclude with a reception for student artists and guest speakers in the exhibition space at the Covington library from 5:30-7 p.m.

The kick-off event at the Cincinnati Art Museum on Friday, April 24, will feature Ms. Schultz, Mr. Kish, Mr. Otter, and co-curators Dr. Wallace and Ms. Thompson discussing “Moby-Dick: How a 19th Century Novel Speaks to the 21st Century.” This Art after Dark event begins at 6:30 p.m. in Fath Auditorium. 

“Beth Schultz, Matt Kish, and Sam Otter are leading figures in the world of Moby-Dick and the Arts,” said Dr. Wallace. “We are honored to have them speak at the opening event at the Cincinnati Art Museum and at the NKU symposium on April 27.”

More information about all events is available at mobydick as well as Dr. Wallace’s blog at

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