The Shafer Gallery will host an opening reception 1-3 p.m. Sunday, April 21, featuring the work of Barton students in a juried exhibit and will include refreshments, a juror’s talk and an awards ceremony.
The judge for the exhibit will be Fort Hays State Art Professor and former Barton Art Instructor Linda Ganstrom. She has a master’s of fine arts degree from Fort Hays State University and specializes in ceramics.
“It’s always fun to see all the artists’ creations,” Ganstrom said of being a juror. “People have such imaginations and the way they combine that with their skill and life experience is very unique and exciting.”
The process for analyzing artwork as a judge for Ganstrom includes looking at artist intent, their ability to use material and processes, which she calls “material mastery,” as well as design and content.
Ganstrom encourages all artists to keep working toward mastering their craft and if they are hesitant about trying certain art techniques to relax and keep an open mind.
“I believe that all children are born artists – if you’re interested in learning something, just give it a try,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”
Ganstrom also stressed the opportunity to enter a juried exhibit at a professional art gallery is important for artists.
“You can’t win if you don’t enter,” she said. “Students need to have confidence to put their work out there. In doing that, everyone is a winner because it takes a lot of courage to put your artwork out there. People bare their souls a lot of times in what they are trying to communicate and that is what courage is.”
Shafer Gallery Director David Barnes said entries for the exhibit come from students with varied backgrounds and experiences.
“The Barton Student Exhibit is unique in that we are not showing just the work of traditional students,” he said. “There is a cadre of non-degree-seeking students who have developed a mentor relationship with their instructors, and they take courses year after year not to receive a degree, but to develop mastery and enjoy the community. Some of their work is of the highest professional quality.”
There will be separate judging categories for degree and non-degree seeking students.
The exhibit consists of artwork from Barton students only and includes submissions in various 2-D and 3-D forms. Barnes encourages visitors to check for price tags if they see something that catches their eyes.
“The student work is often available for purchase, so the exhibition becomes an opportunity for the community to support student endeavors in a very concrete way,” he said. “There are also some great bargains to be had collecting the work of emerging artists.”
The exhibit will run through May 8. Regular viewing hours for the Shafer Gallery are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is always free.