Ancient Greek-Inspired Student Art on Display

If you’ve visited the Warner Library at The Ohio State University at Newark recently, you may have noticed classic art pieces inspired by ancient Greece dotted throughout. These are courtesy of Dana Munteanu, PhD, and the Honors students of her Classical Mythology (CLAS 2220H) course.

Munteanu teaches several courses on mythology, philosophy, history, classics and more, exploring the intersections between literature, visual arts and theory. As a final project for CLAS 2220, students were tasked with creating art projects influenced by Greco-Roman mythology, specifically contextualizing these inspirations in a modern reflection. 

“Creativity represents one of the most useful traits we as educators should encourage our students to develop,” says Munteanu. “Creative, flexible thinking constitutes an important asset for life beyond college classrooms.”

Visitors will find several projects on display in the library, which will be available to view until April 22, from statues to busts and more.

Amal Darod, a first-year biology major, crafted a parodic newspaper covering pressing news from Olympus. Abigail Ewing, a first-year criminology and forensic anthropology student, sculpted a plaster bust of the goddess Athena, made to look like Fifth-century marble busts. You can also find a painting of Nike, the goddess of victory, from Aubrey Weber, a first-year health and rehabilitation science major, on display in Warner Library.    

Gavin Eastep, a second-year agriculture student, welded an over 5-foot-tall metal statue of Zeus holding an “O” in honor of the Ohio State Buckeyes in one hand and Nike in the other while stepping on an “M” instead of a slayed monster as would be classically depicted. Zeus, Munteanu explains, was the patron of the Olympics. Ancient Greek communities would craft their own Zeus statues in their image, leading to this statue’s nickname – “Zeus Ohoienisis,” or “Zeus from Ohio.” “I feel it is amazing that people, despite their knowledge background, can look at a piece of art and draw a connection to it!” Eastep enthuses.

The last piece on display is from Hannah Irwing, a first-year law and psychology double major, who crafted a shield with the head of Medusa covered in gold, “restoring dignity and glory to the image.” When asked about the piece, Irwing said, “Having [my art] on display means keeping the story behind the artwork alive. Medusa’s story is particularly impactful for me, and I am thrilled to play a part in keeping her story alive.”

“Neither I nor the students have expected the extraordinary explosion of talent and the incredible number of outstanding pieces that came from this assignment,” Munteanu adds. “I have been doing this for a few years, and I never cease to be amazed at the results.”

This talent is not hard to come by at Ohio State Newark, with our endlessly accomplished student body combined with our faculty members dedicated to fostering that talent in small, personalized classes. “Smaller classes allow us to know each of our students, to help develop their individual talents, and to encourage collaborative work in the classroom,” Munteanu affirms.     

Be sure to visit the Warner Library at Ohio State Newark soon to see the artwork while it’s still on display, and visit to learn more about all the wonderful work our faculty and students are doing every day.