NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A collaborative art metals project between Stephen F. Austin State University and New Mexico State University has resulted in a unique joint exhibition that will be featured Sept. 4 through Oct. 25 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

In the exhibition "842 Miles," art metals students from each university shipped an object of personal significance accompanied by an artist statement to the collaborating university. These objects were meant to inspire the collaborating artists to create components that were eventually sent back to the university of origin, according to Lauren McAdams Selden, associate professor of art metals for the SFA School of Art.

"Throughout this process, students manipulated, fabricated, subtracted, or elevated these components into a finished work of art by employing the newly acquired skill sets demonstrated during class," Selden said.

During the creative process, SFA students used Facebook to communicate with their counterparts at NMSU to gather any required information and foster collaborative relationships.

"This project produced a number of successful outcomes, unique challenges and unexpected surprises, which created valuable teaching scenarios," Selden said, adding students experienced diversity through working with peers and professors from NMSU.

"This project was a reminder to connect to the larger metals community outside of the university," Selden said. "Making artwork collaboratively taught students to communicate and accept feedback. They learned how to harness personal taste in order to achieve joined goals or outcomes and how to manage time during a long-term project that was broken into multiple stages."

The project was designed to "help students evaluate information, demonstrate higher-order thinking and incorporate problem-solving skills into real-life situations," Selden said.

"842 Miles" was featured April 25 through May 10 in the NMSU Art Gallery. An opening reception for "842 Miles: Part II" will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, at Cole Art Center. The opening coincides with the closing reception for the Sedrick Huckaby exhibition, followed by the First Friday Film Series' free screening of the documentary "In the Realms of the Unreal."

The project was supported by the office of High Impact Practices as part of the Faculty Learning Community VI: Mentored Undergraduate Scholarship.

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. Regular gallery hours are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. All art exhibitions are free and open to the public. For additional information, call (936) 468-1131.