Looking back, Jade Henning says the two weeks she spent in Spain was the best experience of her life.

“The artists I knew about before, from art history class … I saw the places they lived and walked on the streets where they walked,” Henning says. “I saw the most beautiful and influential works I’ve ever seen. It was amazing.”

The impact the trip had upon her is captured in her photographs and drawings – with mosaics and flamenco dancing acting as major influences.

Henning is one of six artists with works featured in “Pero, Esto es Arte?” (“But, is it art?”), a new exhibit currently on display in the Spiva Art Gallery at Missouri Southern State University. The exhibit – which is still being added to – features drawings, paintings, mosaics and more, as well as artwork purchased during the trip.

Senior art major Jenny Journeycake talks about an oil painting she created for the new Spiva exhibit.

Senior art major Jenny Journeycake talks about an oil painting she created for the new Spiva exhibit.


Henning – along with Adam Christian, Richard Tran and Traice Guhr – were art majors who graduated during spring commencement ceremonies. Also on the trip was Jenny Journeycake, who is currently a senior art major. It was led by Burt Bucher, associate professor of art.

During their two-week trip to Spain, they visited Madrid, Seville, Granada and Barcelona, staying in hostels and hotels as they traveled and experienced the country’s art and culture.

“It was the first time I had traveled abroad,” says Journeycake. “It was really eye-opening for me to have that experience and to see their way of life. What really stood out for me was the passion they had for their culture and their love for family.”

Journeycake’s contributions to the exhibit include an oil painting and several aquatint works – a process that involves etching a picture into a metal plate, inking it, then dipping it in an acid that eats away at the metal and creates different shades of ink.

Gallery hours for the exhibit, which will run through Sept. 9, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. Admission is free and open to the public.