Barton Community College employees will have the opportunity to walk a mile in the shoes of a professional artist at the opening reception for the BCC Faculty and Staff Exhibition at the Shafer Gallery from 1-3 p.m. Sunday. Musical ambience will be performed by Karole Erikson as a part of the Robert Keenan Memorial Music Series.
Shafer Gallery Director David Barnes will host the event.
"It’s a wonderful opportunity to communicate to the community the talent that we have on campus," he said. "It gives our faculty a chance to showcase their work so the public can get a chance to see what they can do."
Barnes said the exhibit sends a positive message to the students and other younger individuals from the area. "I think it serves as kind of a role model in terms of the idea, that you don’t have to be a professional artist to make art."
This year’s featured artist will be Les Patrick from the BCC Fort Riley Campus. Patrick began working for Barton in 1998, and he is currently the administrative assistant to the dean of BCC Fort Riley Learning Services and Military Operations. His entries feature images of Kansas landscapes with a focus on sunset stills.
A Junction City native, Patrick said he became interested in photography gradually. "People would look at my mini-gallery, and they were really quite stunned," he said. "It just kind of built and grew from there, and I just started enjoying it more and more."
Patrick’s foray into photography was that of a self-starter with few official resources, and he remains close to his do-it-yourself roots and mentality. "I began taking sunset pictures a number of years ago with a Kodak 3.1 megapixel camera, and I am now using a Kodak 10 megapixel camera. I don’t use anything fancy or complicated," Patrick said.
Patrick has no plans to purchase any sophisticated equipment. "A lot of people have these really expensive cameras, but you can still accomplish a lot with something fairly simple," he said.
The self-taught photographer believes the ability to recognize a prime opportunity to capture a visually unique moment is vital to snapping a quality shot.
"For me, it’s more about having a good eye, knowing what to put into the picture, and how to frame the picture," he said. "You have to know what to look for."
This is the first time his art has been featured in an official exhibit, and Patrick said he is looking forward to the opening reception and the opportunity to discuss his work and answer any questions. In addition to his framed works, other selections of his art will be displayed on the gallery’s 70-inch flat screen TV.
Barnes will also be presenting his work at the exhibit which will mark his first public display at the gallery. He will have several of his oil paintings on display, and his wife, Krystall, and daughter, Kestrel, will also have select pieces of their work in the show.
Krystall, Workforce Development Training Coordinator at BCC, is a signature member of the Montana Watercolor Society and will have watercolor paintings on display. Kestrel, a freshman in high school, will showcase examples of her photography with a focus on exotic animal stills.
The exhibit will run from Aug. 21 to Sept. 18. All Shafer Gallery exhibits are presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.