MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University recently celebrated the 10th annual A Taste of the Arts dinner and auction, bringing together friends and alumni for an evening of giving back to art, music and theatre students.

During the event, which was sponsored by FNB Bank, guests enjoyed fine dining and entertainment on the stage of historic Lovett Auditorium. Featuring student performances and artwork on display, A Taste of the Arts altogether raised more than $35,000 to support scholarships for students in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Murray State.

“I am so thankful for the generosity of our event sponsor and our attendees and donors at this year’s A Taste of the Arts,” said Lucy Love, director of development for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “To raise more than $35,000 in the auction is a testament to their support of the fine arts at Murray State. Annually, this event is so much fun, and I’m so proud of how successful it’s been and what that means for our student scholarship fund.”

In addition to showcasing student talent and auctioning off exciting items, A Taste of the Arts recognized three outstanding alumni — including Marla Moore, Larry Wyatt and Chrishell Stause Hartley — for their accomplishments since graduating from Murray State.

Marla Moore is pictured with David Balthrop, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Marla Moore is pictured with David Balthrop, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

“This year, in honor of the 10th anniversary of A Taste of the Arts, the planning committee thought it was fitting to honor three individuals — one from each of the areas of art, music and theatre,” Love said.

A lifelong resident of Kentucky, Marla Moore came to Murray State in the fall of 2007 to pursue a degree in art and design. During her time at the University, Moore was active in the Honors College, in Hester Residential College and in the Organization of Murray Art Students (OMAS). She graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in art and studio art.

Since graduating, Moore has worked with more than 30 in-agency and in-house organizations and brands, including Amazon, Apple, Aquafina, Facebook, Gatorade, Harper Collins, Netflix, Pepsi and Tropicana. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and works for the art agency Buck.

Dr. Larry Wyatt graduated from Murray State in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. Following his graduation, Wyatt served students as an educator: first as an elementary band director and then as a high school chorus director. He also spent time as the rehearsal band director at the Armed Forces School of Music for the U.S. Army. Then, after earning his doctorate from Florida State University, Wyatt began teaching at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and founded the New Orleans Symphony Chorus and the annual Collegiate Choral Festival. He currently works as the director of choral studies at the University of South Carolina.

Pictured, from left to right, are David Balthrop, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Wyatt; Jerry Shroat, chairman of the Murray State Foundation Board of Trustees; and Dr. Lucia Unrau, chair of the Department of Music.
Pictured, from left to right, are David Balthrop, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Wyatt; Jerry Shroat, chairman of the Murray State Foundation Board of Trustees; and Dr. Lucia Unrau, chair of the Department of Music.

Wyatt and his wife Susan are staunch supporters of Murray State, establishing the Susan and Larry Wyatt Music Education Scholarship just last year. They have one son, Ben, who is a professional cellist and teacher, and two grandsons: 4-year-old Charlie, who is an aspiring cellist/astronaut, and Henry, who is working on his crawling.

Chrishell Stause was born in Draffenville,  joined the Racer family in 1999 and earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre in 2003. While at Murray State, Stause was active in many theatre productions and realized her passion for television.

Shortly after graduating, Stause moved to Los Angeles, California, and was quickly cast as Amanda Dillon on the soap opera “All My Children.” Her career continued with additional castings on “Young and the Restless” and “Days of Our Lives.”

Chrishell Stause Hartley is pictured with David Balthrop (far left), dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and Jerry Shroat (far right), chairman of the Murray State Foundation Board of Trustees.
Chrishell Stause Hartley is pictured with David Balthrop (far left), dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and Jerry Shroat (far right), chairman of the Murray State Foundation Board of Trustees.

“These alumni exemplify more than just success in their fields but the success that comes from following their passions,” Love said. “They are proof for our students that their dreams are attainable.”

The next A Taste of the Arts dinner and auction will take place in October 2019 and will feature new auction items available for bidding. Those interested in donating items for the live or silent auctions are encouraged to reach out to Love at 270-809-3940 or llove@murraystate.edu. To sponsor a table, request information or RSVP, please contact Carol Brunn at 270-809-3023 or cbrunn@murraystate.edu.

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