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Art on the Hill
Shafer Gallery showcases 'Faculty Staff Friends Acquaintances and Some Folks We Hardly Know'
bevsimonson media
Bev Simonson

Barton Community College’s Shafer Gallery will host an opening reception for their annual faculty and staff exhibit from 1-3 p.m. today, which will include additional artwork from an array of local artists and three featured artists.
The show dubbed “Faculty Staff Friends Acquaintances and Some Folks We Hardly Know,” provides an opportunity for Barton faculty and staff as well as community artists to showcase their talents in the flattering setting of a professional grade art gallery. The three featured artists will present works ranging from landscape paintings to folk-art junk sculptures of prehistoric fish.

Folk-artist Bob Mix of Great Bend has been creating one-of-a-kind pieces of three-dimensional art out of scrap metal since 1982.  To say they are unique would be an understatement.  His art ranges from fantasy art such as an old Harley-Davidson chariot-esque creation and a tall skeleton figure, to a realistic portrayal of a massive prehistoric fish.
“I enjoy working with the metal,  and I use all kinds of things, like a pickaxe head for teeth, or maybe a gear chain for a backbone,” he said. “I really enjoy the challenge of trying to make the sculptures look like the real thing.”
Mix routinely uses dinosaurs as subjects and has a 6-foot tall sculpture that resembles a tyrannosaurus on display.

Lifetime Great Bend resident Bev Simonson has been painting for 64 years with subjects ranging from landscapes to abstract art and will have mainly pastel selections as her contribution to the exhibit.
“It(Creating pieces of art) keeps me healthy, it keeps me interested in life, and I just love it,” she said. “I really just zone out when I’m painting.  I get so immersed in it, that the subconscious just kind of takes over.  It’s a good feeling.”

Hutchinson resident and wife of Barton Art Instructor Bill Forst, Ginger Mayfield will exhibit pieces of her sweeping watercolor landscape paintings.
“I really like the basic elements of line, color, shape and texture that you find in landscape pieces, but everywhere you go it’s also different,” she said. Mayfield prefers to paint in the comfortable confines of her dining room table, which resides in a room decorated with a sprawling mural, but also takes an annual constitutional to Taos, N.M., to paint alongside a group of nine colleagues.
“It’s a beautiful place to paint, and it’s very inspiring,” she said. “This summer was the 30th year that I’ve been there to paint. The fellow artists and the surrounding landscapes really help to inspire.”

The exhibit will run through June 16. Regular viewing hours for the Shafer Gallery are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is always free. Music and refreshments will also be provided.