Honors student Nia Crutcher's artistic talent evident in "A Black Girl's Garden: A Solo Exhibition"

Nia Crutcher stands next to a sculpture and a painting that she's created and is exhibiting in her solo exhibit.
(Photo: Jack Monk/Eastern Echo)

YPSILANTI — Senior art major and Honors student Nia Crutcher cultivated over 20 artworks to feature in her ‘A Black Girl’s Garden: A Solo Exhibition’, the first undergraduate student art show at EMU since the pandemic. The show ran in March and April at the EMU Student Center Gallery. 

Crutcher began her artistic journey in early elementary school when her parents noticed her passion for art and decided to enroll her in classes. She has remained involved within the arts community ever since. 

‘A Black Girl’s Garden’ showcased watercolor, oil paintings, and ceramic elements of Crutcher’s body of work. The concept was to provide the perspective of a young black woman who struggles with personal appearance and navigating everyday life while celebrating natural hair and the natural world 

Professor Amy Sacksteder, one of Crutcher’s mentors within the fine arts program, has taught Crutcher for over three years. Dr. Sacksteder inspired Crutcher to express herself by teaching her to incorporate personal elements and experiences into her pieces. 

“Nia is an exceptional artist; she is talented, smart, and driven. Nia’s artistry is inspirational to her peers, professors, and EMU community,” commented Dr. Sacksteder. 

"Cityscape," by Nia Crutcher.

One of Crutcher’s inspirations for this exhibit was the Intermedia Gallery Group at EMU. “The group offers opportunities to art students to do either solo or group shows,” replied Crutcher, “I applied once I felt I had enough art for a show and here I am.”

‘A Black Girl’s Garden’ was the first of what Crutcher hopes will be many solo exhibitions. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school in New York. Further down the line, Crutcher wants to become a professor of fine arts and open a gallery and cafe for young people of color. 

Visit the EMU fine arts program website to learn more about program offerings. 


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

May 01, 2024

Written by:
Brooke Whittaker

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher