Art & Design | Raeanne Kiihnl, a fine art major from Searcy, found artistic inspiration in studying abroad and self-reflection.
After spending a semester in Italy on the Harding University in Florence (HUF) program, she fell in love with Renaissance art.
“Something about classical art and Renaissance art is just foundational in my sense of aesthetic or beauty, as it is for many, unconsciously, living under the umbrella of western culture,” Kiihnl said. “The impact of this genre, seeing the remains of its birth and life in Florence herself, knowing the stories of how history was and is shaped through the arts: these are all beautiful to me and precious pieces of my understanding of the visual arts.”
One of the pieces she is currently working on was inspired recently by a dream she had in which she was walking through Florence again. She said she walked passed Santa Maria Novella, the church outside Florence’s train station, and saw them cleaning it out. Among the things being cleaned out of the church were two paintings, one of which she is currently recreating.
In addition to her studio work, Raeanne was also one of the first students to paint in Art Alley last summer, which is a new project from Think Idea Studio in Searcy’s downtown area. Raeanne selected butterflies as the subject for her work.
“Butterflies have been the signs of growth and awakening to the possibilities of life and my dreams,” Raeanne said. “This is what they signify every time I interact with them.”
Raeanne says she is constantly reminded by Dr. Greg Clayton, associate professor of art of design, that she is only limited by her own dreams. Her plans after graduation include aspiring to be a studio painter in a big city.
“It’s just a thing I really want to do,” Raeanne said. “Studio painting is the picture of my life that makes me the most happy to think about; that is the sole appeal.”