Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2007

Exhibits to focus on faculty, donors

August 16, 2007

Art enthusiasts this year will have an opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of the creative contributions from Baker students, faculty and donors over the years.

In addition to showcasing the works of current students, the 2007-2008 exhibitions at Holt/Russell Gallery will display the art of former professors, pay tribute to the university's art donors and offer a glance of what Baker may look like 150 years from now.

"The exhibits will be quite varied," said Professor Emeritus Walt Bailey, special assistant to the president for development of the arts. "We'll have artwork from different generations, media and styles."

An exhibition titled "Celebrating Our Visionary History," highlighting artwork from the faculty, opens on Sept. 11 and runs through Oct. 21. An opening reception is planned for 5 p.m. on Sept. 11. A public reception for the artists will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 16.

"Current and past faculty members will share their works with us for the first exhibition," Bailey said. " Former faculty continue to care about our program and we have two former professors from California -- Don Louthian and Karen Koblitz -- who plan to return."

The second exhibition, "Celebrating Our Generous Friends," will honor the friends of the university who have donated art. Most of the pieces in the University's Art Collection, displayed in various buildings on campus, were gifts from private art collections. Several buildings on the Baldwin City campus feature donated art. It runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 16.

"We will be looking at things that have come as part of a collection," Bailey said. "We're going to find a way to recognize people who have given artwork and financial support to our art programs."

The Elsie Allen Art Collection will be among the displays at the exhibit. Elsie graduated from Baker in 1891 and married Henry J. Allen, who served as Kansas governor in 1919-1923. Upon her death in 1951, Elsie wanted her alma mater to appreciate the art she had collected throughout her life. Along with a donation of $10,000 to maintain her collection, the 1891 graduate left the university a number of paintings, prints, drawings and even a collection of Russian icons. During the 1950s, the collection was exhibited in the Elsie Allen Art Gallery in Parmenter Hall. Today, Baker President Pat Long is working with Bailey to display the extensive collection around Baker's campus.

One of the newest collections in the exhibit comes from Jan Schroeder, a longtime friend of Baker. In 1992, Jan and her husband, Bob, gave the university a collection of more than 60 works of art.

"The Next 150: Celebrating A View Toward Tomorrow Art Exhibit" on Feb. 5 was arranged to inspire the next generation of designers to envision a campus of the future.

"We realize architects have to start somewhere," Bailey said. "We want this exhibit to be thinking of sociological aspects, functionality and aesthetics."

Bailey hopes area residents will be able to attend one of the exhibits.

"I think through the years we've managed an amazing schedule of exhibits and artists," Bailey said. "It's a quiet secret down here because we're in the shadows of KU and Nelson-Atkins Gallery in Kansas City."

Exhibit schedule

Sept. 11-Oct. 21: "Celebrating Our Visionary History," recognizing art faculty who have helped shape Kansas' first university art program

Oct. 30-Nov. 16: "Celebrating Our Generous Friends," a tribute to patrons who continue to provide resources that make a difference

Nov. 27-Dec. 16: December 2007 Graduating Senior Studio Art Major Art Exhibit

Feb. 5-March 7: "The Next 150 -- Celebrating a View Toward Tomorrow"

April 1-April 25: 2008 International Orton Cone Box Show

May 6-May 18: May 2008 Graduating Senior Studio Art Major Art Exhibit

The Holt/Russell gallery is located in Parmenter Hall and open 1-4 p.m. weekdays when classes are in session or by appointment. An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the first day of all exhibits.

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