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Shafer Gallery creates virtual world for local high schoolers for Vortex Day art show
Director’s Choice: Khary Cross, “Blue Eyes on White,” Hoisington
Director’s Choice: Khary Cross, “Blue Eyes on White,” Hoisington

The Shafer Gallery brought back its popular “Virtual Vortex Day” exhibit and juried art show this year, which is sponsored by the Barton County Arts Council (BCAC) and is underwritten by the Bill J. McKown Endowment/Golden Belt Foundation and features artwork from high school students around the area. 

The highlight of Vortex Day is always the juried art show, which this year consisted of an online exhibit of work by students from Central Plains, Ellinwood, Great Bend, Larned and Hoisington High Schools. The Vortex Exhibit is now available for viewing at and contains a gallery of all the student submissions, a video of the winners being announced, and judges’ comments. 

Gallery Director Dave Barnes said the Virtual Vortex format was a great success last year and was excited to be able to provide extended access to the high school art students again this year. 

“We were very gratified to hear that teachers were using the Virtual Vortex site as a teaching tool and discussion site in their classrooms.”


First Place, Caylee Rowan, “Euphoria,” Ellinwood

Second Place, Mary Dimitt, “Lava,” Ellinwood

Third Place, Mariah Sanders, “Pinkalicious,” St. John-Hudson

Honorable Mention, Colby Heinz, “Woody,” Ellinwood



First Place, Mackenzie Hacker, “Infinity,” St. John-Hudson

Second Place, Emma Brackbill, “Sad Knight,” Larned

Honorable Mention, Kimberly Pfortmiller, “Sunny the Birthday Boy,” Larned



First Place, Naomi Bowen, “Hanging Out,” Great Bend

Second Place, Mollie Steiner, “Melting Away,” Central Plains

Third Place, Hector Barrios, “Overgrown,” Great Bend



First Place, Jack Wikum, “Creature & Home Place,” Hoisington

Second Place, Garrett McAllister, “X-mas Jelly,” St. John-Hudson

Third Place, Penelope McCraw, “Butterfly,” Hoisington

Honorable Mention, Alexis Van Zandt, “Chuck,” Great Bend



First Place, Ashlyn Armstrong, “Scattered Brain,” Central Plains

Second Place, Mackenzie Hacker, “What’s Swimming Around that Head of Yours?” St. John-Hudson

Third Place, Jade Sanchez, Lateral Flow, Great Bend



First Place, Olivia Herrman, “Hidden,” Ellinwood

Second Place, Adam Baldyga, “Frog,” Hoisington

Third Place, Kynlie Crowdis, “Team Member,” Hoisington



First Place, Mariah Sanders, “Little Black Dress,” St. John-Hudson

Second Place, Aylice Clawson, “3D Pen Dog,” Larned

Third Place, Angel Ibarra, “Paddy Wagon,” St. John-Hudson

Honorable Mention, Alex Mater, “The Thinker,” Hoisington


Director’s Choice:

Khary Cross, “Blue Eyes on White,” Hoisington


Best of Show:

Samantha Haney, “Two Faced,” Larned