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Sierra Harriman talks about her artwork during the unveiling

Bridging Disciplines: It's a Work of Art

by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager

Artists Hannah Smith, Sierra Harriman, and Ashley ReynoldsThe beauty of a suspension bridge? The amazing complexity of a cloverleaf exchange? Drivers don’t typically ponder such thoughts as they cross a river or take an off-ramp, but studio art majors at Cedarville University unveiled their civil engineering-inspired works of art on April 16 at Cedarville’s Civil Engineering Center (CEC).

The artists will display their pieces in the CEC through the 2021-22 school year. They are Ashley Reynolds, a nursing major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sierra Harriman, a psychology major with a studio art minor from Anchorage, Alaska, and Hannah Smith, a studio art major from Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Ashley Reynolds explains her artwork to a visitorDr. Stephen Ayers, Cedarville University professor of civil engineer and assistant dean for the school of engineering and computer science, believes that for a student to become an engineer, they should have opportunities to engineer. He extended that same philosophy to studio artists.

"Instead of just going out and buying artwork, we decided to approach faculty in the studio arts major to see if we could get our own students to create original pieces,” Ayers said.

As part of the continuing development of the CEC, which was opened last fall, Ayers and other engineering faculty decided to add the artwork to the various open spaces in the building that would depict the civil engineering profession.

Studio art students were presented a design brief to produce drawings expressing what civil engineering means to them and to how it relates to our society. The top three pieces were selected by Ayers, the studio art faculty, and other engineering professors, and unveiled on April 16.

“This type of collaboration truly helps students and faculty alike to look outside of ourselves to see how God is using other disciplines to bring Himself glory,” noted Caleb Booth, assistant professor of studio art. “I’m looking forward to continuing our collaboration with the civil engineering program, as well as potentially expanding to others.”

The artwork will be on display in the CEC from the unveiling through the 2021-22 school year. “We are grateful for this collaboration and the creativity of these students using their God-given gifts and passion to portray and celebrate the civil engineering field,” Ayers said. “We want to celebrate the work of these talented students.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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