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Professor Cynthia Lockhart Honored with National Award

Date: Jan. 29, 2001
By Martha Ybern
Photos by Dottie Stover
Contact: Chris Curran
Archive: Profiles

For Professor Cynthia Lockhart, receiving the artist merit award from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is more than the honor of winning her first national award, it's an exploration in love for her art. Her work will be showcased in a juried art exhibition as part of the museum's 31st annual black creativity program. The exhibit is being held through Feb. 28. Cynthia Lockhart with her work,

Lockhart, professor of professional practice and an award-winning fashion designer, submitted four pieces of artwork. Two were selected, "Shades of Black and White" and "Venice," winner of the artist merit award. According to Lockhart, the artwork was judged in two categories: Best of Show, where judges select the one piece that exemplifies the essence of black creativity, and the artist merit, given to the artist who symbolizes excellence in creativity. "I am constantly learning as faculty and continuing to grow in my craft and creativity," says Lockhart, asserting that the exhibit placed no boundaries on black creativity. Disciplines included fine arts, photography, digital art, mixed media, ceramics, graphic arts and her unconventional textile/fiber art. The entire exhibit contains well over 100 pieces of artwork. Venice

According to Lockhart, many of the exhibitors are not newcomers, rather a mixture of emerging artists and veterans. "The museum is playing a major role in developing artist," says Lockhart, who plans to jury the 2003 exhibition.

"Venice" was actually finished but not titled, before she traveled to Italy in 2000 with 34 participants funded by a grant for a project which she wrote. It was there, during the research in Italy, says Lockhart, where she named the piece, Venice, for her love of Italy's romantic golden tones, asymmetrical shapes and beautiful mosaics. "When it was completed it looked like Venice to me," she recalls, of the striking, abstract, triangle-shaped design with a vertical layout, and mixed fibers of cotton, silk and a fabrication of gold wash, accented with bone and quail feathers.

Her other entry, "Shades of Black and White," is also a geometric abstract design, denoting a powerful impact while successfully balancing artistic harmony with two basic elements, black and white. According to Lockhart, the piece presented a challenge to her since these elements are not normally used together. The design is enhanced with mud cloth and Cowie shell, and accented with touches of eastern silks. Cynthia Lockhart

Lockhart admits that one of her goals for entering the exhibit was to have her work critiqued outside of Cincinnati. She says it was a valuable experience and opportunity for her, and emphasizes the exhibit is a chance for black artists to receive national and international exposure.

With a BA in fashion design, a master's in design and nine years of teaching experience, Lockhart admits that she is constantly learning. "I am continuing to grow and continuing my craft and growing in creativity." She teaches courses in the cooperative education curriculum to students in fashion design and product development/merchandising of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She continues contribute to the fashion community from a local, national and international perspective.

"I approach my work with confidence and creativity - these qualities are demonstrated in my artwork," says Lockhart. She encourages students to follow their dreams and build their skills while sharpening their talents to shape their future in the fashion industry.

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