Staff at Barton Community College’s Shafer Art Gallery will visit area schools, thanks to a gift from the Glenn and Elaine Mull Family Advised Fund, Gallery Director Dave Barnes told the college’s board of trustees Tuesday.
“Elaine Mull was very dedicated to arts in schools,” Barnes said.
The Glenn & Elaine Mull Family Advised Fund, through the Golden Belt Foundation, pledged to sponsor the Elaine Mull Classroom Outreach Initiative for four years at $5,000 a year.
“We’re going to put together a mobile art cart that can go to classrooms,” Barnes said. Gallery Associate Scott Beahm will make customized class visits that meet the teachers’ curricula.
In his annual report to the trustees, Barnes also noted that two internationally known artists, multidisciplinary artist Bently Spang and National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, were featured at the gallery this past year.
“It’s really been a banner year, an exceptional year for the Shafer Gallery,” Barnes said. There were nine exhibits and 33 events or classes at the gallery.
“Frogs: Sounding the Future,” featured photos by Sartore and was a collaborative event with the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. The gallery received close to $2,000 from the Chick-A-Dee Check-Off Foundation to create an interactive, museum quality installation that reproduced the experience of twilight in the glades, focusing on frog songs and identification. After the exhibit ended, the installation was moved to the Wetlands Center for permanent installation.
Other enhancements at the gallery in 2015-2016 included:
• Overhead storage screens for artwork in the Collection Room. This enhancement enables the gallery to store additional art in accordance with museum standards. It was purchased through a Mull Family Memorial gift of $7,352.
• Toursphere cell phone tour. Visitors may now take an interactive digital interpretive tour of the Shafer bronze collection, or as Barnes calls it, “Gus’s Digital Cowboy Tour.” The Barton Community College Foundation and the McKown Fund provided the $6,447 funding.
• Winged Aspiration bronze sculpture. A public bronze sculpture based upon a wax by Gus Shafer placed outside the Fine Arts Building as a gateway to the gallery. Foundation/McKown Fund provided $57,348.
Barnes noted that the gallery has been approved for one road sign through a local attraction grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, but only if the funds are available. And the gallery received a $1,000 Exhibits USA Education and Public Program Grant to offset programming costs for the Estamos Aqui exhibit. The grant was made possible by the Hearst Foundation and contingent federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The next exhibit at the gallery will be the annual Friends and Acquaintances Community Art Exhibit, opening Sept. 2. That will also be the night of a masquerade ball reception at the gallery, from 6:30-8 p.m. In accordance with the college’s alcohol policy, this event will be by invitation only. Call 620-792-9342 for more information.
In action items Tuesday, trustees approved the following new personnel: Alexander King, Groundskeeper I (Field Maintenance), part-time; Danielle Kultge, secretary (Allied Health/MLT); Teressa Zink, administrative assistant (Grants & President’s Office); Kade Sander, assistant wrestling coach; Derek Nicholson, Groundskeeper II/Toolroom Assistant; Emily Cowles, instructor and coordinator of the Dietary Manager Program (contract position), all at the Barton County campus; and James Henderson, instructor of Hazardous Waste Worker Training at the Fort Riley campus (contract).
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said the only new position was the part-time assistant wrestling coach.