By Linda Waggener, assistant director of university communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University will exhibit artwork by Lucretia Chilton Begley and Lori G. Sargent, both of Columbia, Feb. 5-23 at CU’s new art gallery across from the Gosser Fine Arts Center.
A reception in their honor will be Monday, Feb. 7 from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The public is invited to the free exhibit. Refreshments will be served.
Begley, a painter and sculptor, served as first lady of Lindsey Wilson College for 20 years, hosting receptions and special events for alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the college.
She continues her work in painting and pottery in her home studio in Columbia.
Sargent is a professor of art and education at Lindsey Wilson College where she teaches part-time while balancing her work in the classroom and her work as associate dean of Lindsey Wilson College.
In addition to her more than 29 years of voluntary service to the college, Begley was a public school teacher, served for nine years as a full-time member of the Lindsey Wilson faculty as an art professor, and became a well-known regional artist.
Through the years, her abiding devotion to art is reflected in her words, “Deep within each of us lives that creative spirit and that creative spirit is evident in many ways. Through art we reach our highest level of potential and fulfillment. Through art we can experience God daily and find our greatest sense of peace.”
Before joining the Lindsey Wilson faculty, Begley spent 12 years teaching in Kentucky and Tennessee public schools, earning Teacher of the Year honors from Henderson County (Kentucky) Schools.
In 1983, she founded the first gifted and talented program for students in Adair County schools. The program nurtured the creative and intellectual talents of more than 75 students from five Adair County public schools.
In 1984, Begley joined the Lindsey Wilson faculty as an art instructor, and four years later was named an assistant professor of art. As a member of the college’s faculty, Begley was known as a teacher who believed deeply in her mission to foster the growth and development of students’ talent.
During the 1985-86 school year, Begley was named curator of the first permanent art gallery in Lindsey Wilson’s history. In November 1997, the Lindsey Wilson College Board of Trustees named the college’s art gallery The Lucretia C. Begley Art Gallery in appreciation for her service to art education and regional art in South Central Kentucky through her work with the art gallery.
In addition to her accomplishments as a teacher, Begley is also a well-known artist throughout South Central Kentucky. Her paintings and pottery have been featured in several exhibits and have won numerous awards.
Begley has been a member of numerous professional and artistic organizations, including Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary Sorority for Women Educators, Alpha Kappa Delta International Honorary Sorority for Women Educators, the National Art Education Association, the Kentucky Art Education Association, the Kentucky Watercolor Society, the Kentucky Guild Artists and Craftsmen and the National Advisory Cabinet for Guideposts magazine. She and her husband, John, chancellor of Lindsey Wilson College, are honorary members of the board of The Adair Arts Council.
Begley holds a bachelor of arts degree in education from Kentucky Wesleyan College and a master of arts degree in education from Western Kentucky University. She has completed post-graduate work at the University of Tennessee and Western Kentucky University. She has done extensive private studio and independent studies in the field of art.
The Lindsey Wilson College faculty and Board of Trustees honored Begley with a doctorate of fine arts, honoris causa.
Sargent said of her work, “The artworks depict locations that made an impression on me, that help define who I am and what is important to me. Our lives are a series of events that occur within specific times and places. It is impossible to express a sense of place in an artwork in a way that will give a similar experience to others, but perhaps viewers will catch a glimpse of what I responded to in these locations, or will have their own interpretation and reaction to the compositions included in this exhibit.”
Sargent earned a bachelor of science degree from Montana State University in Billings and a master of fine arts degree in ceramics from Wichita State University.
Sargent taught at several colleges in the Midwest and in Montana and Wyoming. In 1994 she earned an master of arts in education degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and accepted a position teaching in the art department of Lindsey Wilson College. At Lindsey, she was instrumental in starting the art education program.
Sharing background about her work, Sargent said, “I have included a series of slab-constructed porcelain jars in this exhibit. The jars are an abstract representation of the landforms near our home in Wyoming. The places represented by the jars are specific – landmarks on frequently traveled roads and places we could see from our home.
“Each vessel represents a landmark — the Wind River, Crowheart Butte, Sinks Canyon, the Beartooth Pass and Granite Peak. These landscapes seemed harsh and vast when we first arrived in Wyoming but still whisper to my heart even after being gone for many years. The places are important not so much for their color, texture and shapes but because of the special times we shared there with our family and friends.”
Sargent said she is also displaying a painting of my garden in Columbia, Ky., a special place she designed.
“I moved in soil and rocks from outside of town, replacing an old driveway with greenscapes. I planted, divided and moved plants around that were given to me by Lucretia Begley and other friends. I planted trees and trained vines to cover the trellises I built. This was my summer retreat – an intimate landscape where I invited friends to dinner, or escaped during warm weather to read, to sketch and most of all to think. We live in another home now, but sometimes I walk up the street and peek in at my garden and the dappled light. I feel the warm sunshine and I smile.”
Last spring, Sargent led a group of 21 students and faculty to the Tuscany region of Italy funded by an Appalachian College Association International Study Seminar Grant. She said she hadn’t been to Italy before, but the photos in one of her cookbooks convinced her that this was a place to visit.
“The warm colors and rocks reminded me of western United States, but the winding, intimate streets and medieval structures found in the small Italian villages offered a unique and unforgettable experience for our group,” she said.
“What a joy to travel with students excited about the artwork and architecture we saw, about the food we ate, and about traveling overseas for the first time. The small watercolors were started on location in Italy last spring, and recently finished for this exhibit. The Tuscany region of Italy is rich in history, and we were fortunate to have had this cultural experience.
“It is gratifying that our expectations and hopes were fulfilled during this trip, and that we continue to inspired by our experiences and continue to draw and paint what we felt.”
Sargent lives in Columbia with her husband, Steve, who is director of institutional research at Lindsey Wilson College, and two cats.
For more information about the reception or the arts at CU, contact Judy Clark, office assistant in the Office of Student Records at Campbellsville University, at (270) 789-5151.
Campbellsville University, now celebrating her Centennial year, is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,310 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” 14 consecutive years as one of the leading Southern master’s colleges and universities, Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his eighth year as president.