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Pulse of the Prairie
New Shafer Art Gallery exhibit opening
christina lamoureaux caravan
"Caravan" by Christina Lamoureaux

The Shafer Art Gallery will host an opening reception for the “Pulse of the Prairie” exhibit, featuring the Kansas-inspired works of artists Doloris Pederson and Christina Lamoureaux. The reception will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16 in the gallery, located in the Fine Arts Building at Barton Community College. Artist talks and performances will be at 6:15 and 7:30 p.m.
Shafer Art Gallery director Dave Barnes said the exhibit is a great showcase of the beauty and intrigue of Kansas.
“A famous German theologian coined the term ‘numinous’ to describe experiences that are awesome and incredibly important but just can’t be describe in language,” he said.  “The artwork in the ‘Pulse of the Prairie’ exhibit evoke a numinous experience of the plains. The rhythm, the color, the sweep and underlying life-force of our Kansas environs are on full display. This show is about subtlety and deep listening.”
The reception will feature refreshments. Admission is free. The Shafer Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Christina Lamoureaux

Christina Lamoureaux wears many creative hats, and she wears them all to tell a different part of her artistic story.  She uses various materials and techniques to produce layered creations including but not limited to clay, paper, canvas, paint, glaze, encaustics and various mixed media objects.
In addition to the art pieces she creates, she also utilizes storytelling and song writing to add even more depth to her body of work.  She spends much of her time outdoors navigating bike paths around Great Bend and Wilson Lake. It’s on these trips that she finds much of her inspiration.
“I want to capture the moment and share it in a story, song and a visual painting,” she said. “It becomes a very layered process. There is a discovery within each moment, and trying to capture it is a challenge; then being able to share it, and then pass it on.  That’s the whole experience.”
Lamoureaux said she has great curiosity regarding what she encounters in nature, which can be best summed up by an excerpt from her artist statement:  “It was while bike riding on the prairie trail that I saw, beneath my feet, huge paw prints. Questions about the prairie began to form. Those paw prints frozen in the stiff mud captured the pulse of what moved and breathed in my environment and imagination. My artistic response and deep appreciation for this environment directed my attention close to the earth. Richly layered prairie songs and sound began to add dimension in my imagination. My artwork represents a visual interpretation of my lyrical response to this compelling Pulse of the Prairie.”

Doloris Pederson

Doloris Pederson takes a naturalistic approach to art.  She is a well-known on-location painter from Russell, but spent much of her life painting in the wide-open spaces of southern California. The climate of California allowed her to paint outdoors year-around. She has also done multiple paintings of Kansas landscapes, especially Cheyenne Bottoms. Her paintings are all created in real-time, on-site.
“I love nature,” she said. “When you’re on location, you get to experience first-handedly the atmosphere, the changing light and the sound of nature and the reflections of the sunlight on the water.”  
She said painting on-location is a rush for her.
“There’s an urgency of beginning and completion because the light changes quickly and the sun moves and before you know it the sun can be overhead and that affects the landscape,” she said. “I have an urgency to give it a voice and to make it come alive by capturing it how I momentarily felt.”
Pederson stressed that painting for her is about more than a final product. It’s about an organic connection that she has to all of her paintings because they tell the story of her actually being there and are thus biographical.
“I take pride in that what I paint is what I have experienced myself,” she said. “It’s generally from a region where I have had everyday experiences of that subject matter. Many times people assume that you simply want to paint something because it’s beautiful, but to me painting is falling in love.  It’s more than the surface.  It’s how I’m responding to the subject matter and how it is speaking to me.”

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