Donations Sought for Art to Grace Noel Studio for Academic Creativity

Studio-LexArts logo

It’s a perfect marriage. After all, where better to showcase the creativity of Kentucky artisans and thereby inspire students to think creatively than Eastern Kentucky University’s new Noel Studio for Academic Creativity?

By the time it is dedicated on Friday, Oct. 29, the nationally unprecedented facility in Crabbe Library will house the varied works of some of Kentucky’s finest artists.

EKU Libraries has partnered with LexArts to spread the word to artists and select and place original art in the Noel Studio. Meanwhile, the University is seeking sponsors for the art. With a contribution of $500, $1000, $2500 or more, individuals can sponsor the placement of a piece of artwork in honor or in memory of someone special while participating in a unique initiative at EKU.

“It’s a fabulous opportunity to honor someone special, support local and Kentucky artists, and beautify the new Noel Studio,” said Kari Martin, director of development for EKU Libraries. “We’re very excited about it.”

The Studio embodies EKU’s Quality Enhancement Plan, which calls for the University to develop informed, critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively. Unique in its integration of services, all in a technologically sophisticated environment, the Studio is designed to enhance students’ writing, speaking and research skills and inspire individual and collaborative learning. Although the Studio’s “breathtaking” physical space isn’t scheduled to open until Sept. 7, some services are already being provided to the University community.  

Martin commended LexArts for its support and cooperation in making the Noel Studio even more attractive to its users.

“LexArts put out a call to its entire registry of artists and to the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, approximately a thousand artists across the state,” Martin noted. “They’ve been absolutely wonderful to work with, and have bent over backwards to get the word out to artists.”

Ultimately, the Studio will house approximately 20 pieces of art chosen by a campus selection committee, Martin said. Many different types of media will be represented, and each piece of art will carry a nameplate containing the name of the artist and work, as well as the names of the sponsor and who the sponsor is honoring.

“We’re looking especially for art that has a connection to EKU or to the University’s service region,” Martin said.

The committee is also working closely with the EKU Department of Art and Design to identify works with an EKU connection.

Contributions can be made online by designating a gift to Noel Studio Artwork or by mail (see links for online and mail donations at  Anyone interested may also contact Martin at 859-622-6593 or In recognition of their gifts, all donors will become members of the Friends of the EKU Libraries community. Contributors of $1,000 or more are considered Friends for Life and members of the EKU Circle of Opportunity for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The represented artists will be invited to the dedication ceremonies, scheduled for Oct. 29.

The Studio bears the name of Ron and Sherrie Lou Noel of Union, Ky., long-time supporters of the University whose $1 million-plus gift helped make the facility possible.

For more information about the Noel Studio, visit, call 859-622-7330 or e-mail

Published on August 27, 2010

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