Barton Community College ceramics instructor Bill Forst and his wife Ginger Mayfield are exhibiting their artwork at the recently renovated Hutchinson Art Center until March 11.
The exhibit is free to experience during gallery hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“We hadn’t had a major show of our work for a couple of years,” Forst said. When invited to display their work, “we snapped at the opportunity.”
Forst’s main body of work on display is a series of high-relief sculptures called “Fire on the Horizon.” Forst explored different ideas of literal and figurative fires. His pieces are accompanied by four of his watercolor paintings.
In addition, he has six works of art for sale from a collaboration with students from Barton’s Vortex Day in 2016 and 2017. Vortex Day offers high school students the opportunity to partake in activities dedicated to the visual arts. All proceeds of the sales of those pieces will be donated to the Barton Community College Foundation for use by the art department.
Forst attended the Cleveland Institute of Art where he majored in ceramics. He graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts; then he moved to Kansas to attend Wichita State University, having received the Clayton Staples Full Tuition Scholarship for his ceramic work. He graduated in 1988 with a Master of Fine Arts in ceramics. While at WSU, Forst met his wife Ginger Mayfield, a fellow artist.
Forst is a tenured art instructor at Barton Community College where he teaches ceramics, design and art history. He has also represented Barton at state-wide meetings to establish core competency standards which would allow general elective courses, such as Art Appreciation and Art History Survey, to transfer seamlessly from an accredited community college in Kansas to an accredited four-year college in Kansas.
Mayfield is a painter and taught high school art for more than 40 years. Recently she retired from teaching but continues to create works of art from her studio. She likes to work with water-based paints, oil and glazes.
The process of making drawings and mixing color is one of her favorite ways to spend time. Her work is derived from specific images which she brings to “fictional” settings.
Mayfield reinvents sketches from at least 40 years of observation using different materials. A sketch could be translated into crayon, watercolor, oil paint, acrylic and glaze on clay. Her sketchbooks are the cornerstone of her work.
“It’s like getting to reelect a private memory in a multitude of different settings, or like hearing a favorite song sung in a new voice with different instruments,” she said.
Forst described their work as conceptual verses optical.
“Ginger’s work is more conceptual in that she likes making up drawings with images you can recognize but won’t find in a photograph. I am more of an optical artist,” he said. “For example, I’ll grow morning glories and make such realistic ink drawings you almost see the fluids pulsating through their veins.”