A “Meet the Artist” reception was held for Holly Irish, a fourth year veterinary student, at the Animal Science Library last Friday.
Holly was first introduced to mixing animals and photography at the veterinary school's open house.
“[The veterinary school] was trying to encourage people to make art ... wherever their talent lay ... The prompt was to describe what you find beautiful about veterinary medicine,” she said.
From there, Holly wanted to capture what she thought was most important about the medicine she was entering into: the human-animal bond.
Photography gave Holly a way to escape from the pressures of school. Her first photo was a face-to-face shot of her and her dog.
Friends, family and classmates, along with their pets, were the subjects of Holly's series.
Holly's parents drove across the state to see their daughter's artwork displayed. Rick Irish, her father, said Holly has a good eye for photographing unique pictures. Her parents were very pleased with the work displayed.
“I was thrilled enough to jump in the car to drive seven hours today,” Rick said.
Wendy Brown, a veterinary micropathology professor in the department of veterinary microbiology and pathology, attended the reception. Brown said she had come to “Meet the Artist” receptions before and wanted to continue going to them. She even recommended the reception to a friend.
“Some of (Holly's) photos are quite moving to me,” Brown said.
Holly's work was displayed on the walls around the library. Guests were allowed to discuss the artwork and view the photographs at their own leisure as well as hear a little bit from Holly about how her series was carried out.
“(The reception is) very low key,"Brown said."People talk and have a glass of wine and get a chance to socialize a bit before there's any announcements made ... It's a nice way to end the week."
Holly's photography is the fifth display in a series started by the Animal Science Library in 2008 called Art in the Library.
“When we were talking about making our library more student-oriented and a more condusive place to study and work, some of the vet students suggested that we display artwork within our library,” said Vicki Croft, head of the Animal Science Library.
Past artists have included other photographers and oil painters. Croft said the series will be continued next year and three other artists are already lined up to be featured.
“It's been very popular," Croft said. "Students and library users enjoy seeing the artwork on our walls."
Holly's work will be up in the Animal Science Library until May 5.