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The new art gallery is located on the second floor of Johnson Cafeteria.WILMORE, Ky. — Faculty, students and staff gathered on the second floor of Johnson Cafeteria Thursday to dedicate the new Asbury University Art Gallery.

Formerly a student office and meeting space, the bright, freshly designed room was renovated last semester to provide a place to feature the work of faculty members, local artists and students. The gallery currently features the annual faculty exhibition, appropriately titled “New Beginnings,” which will run through March 10.

In remarks at the dedication, Asbury University Art Department Chair Margaret Park Smith drew on the imagery of Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

“The art gallery is full of potential, promise and opportunities,” she said. “Our hope is that it will be a place of creativity and purpose that will flourish on campus and in the world.”

Rudy Medlock, professor emeritus of art, contributed pottery to the faculty exhibition and, with about 40 years of teaching experience at the University, a sense of perspective to the celebration.

“When I came here, there was no gallery,” he said. “So I built pedestals and walls to hang things in the McCreless Fine Arts building. Moving to Johnson Cafeteria brought hope. We have a lot of Christian artists here, and when they make things, God speaks.”

Since it retains an adjustable lighting system and other tools, the former gallery space will be used for a class beginning next fall that is geared toward equipping art students in the skills and knowledge of how best to display different types of art work.

The art gallery is open anytime the building is in use (7 a.m. to 11 p.m., excluding school breaks).