Fall Gallery Walk offers sights big and small
By ABBY BELDEN
Small was the common word amongst Hays Arts Council Fall Gallery Walk attendees while browsing through the "Teenies & T's" art exhibit.
"I just thought small space, small work," said Gordon Sherman, director of the exhibit and Fort Hays State University professor who teaches print making and figurative drawing.
The "Teenies & T's" exhibit was one of many stops on the council's gallery walk Friday night.
The location featured approximately 150 small works of art from 25 artists.
"I thought it might be fun to just curate a show. ... I basically invited friends, peers and the art faculty at Fort Hays and asked them to submit at least two pieces," Sherman said.
Each artist was given the guidelines of submitting art that was no larger than 6-by-6 inches.
Kye Chaput, alumni of FHSU, entered some of his art.
"When (Sherman) said anything under 6-by-6 inches, I really pushed myself to do smaller and smaller," Chaput said.
Chaput submitted a lithograph landscape piece he said was influenced by the harbors when he lived in Corpus Christi, Texas. He also submitted two cropped etchings from one of his previous collections.
"It is really enjoyable to bring those back out and revive them and kind of make them more enjoyable for me because it was something I didn't like a few years ago," Chaput said.
Chaput also enjoyed the variety of small works at the group exhibit.
"It's great to see it in a small intimate show that you don't typically see," Chaput said.
Mark Roundtree, a senior in fine arts at FHSU, said he began his night at Moss Thorns Arts Gallery with Linda Ganstrom's sabatical exhibition, which he said he enjoyed. Roundtree said he went to White Chocolate and Kris Kuksi's studio and eventually made his way to "Teenies & T's."
"It's a really good one," Roundtree said of the tiny art. "I get really close to it, and I am looking really hard."
Each artist also was required to submit their favorite T-shirt in order to enter art into the exhibit.
Sherman said even T-shirts can have stories. He said one of the T-shirts submitted by a photographer from Lawrence was from a 1982 Pink Floyd concert.
While "Teenies & T's" focused on the small works of art, Michael Florian Jilg's 40-year career retrospective exhibit in the Hays Arts Council building featured larger works of art.
Jilg's exhibit showcased his work from 1972 to the present.
"This has been one of the nicest evenings of my life," Jilg said.
He said Friday's exhibit was the first time to feature such a large amount of art.
"I've had a lot of one-man shows throughout my career," Jilg said. "This is the first show I've had that has 40 years. It goes back to Day 1, and this is a unique experience, an absolute joy."
The art showcased in each of the locations offered more than just a fun evening for attendees. For some, it was inspiring.
"I love everything, getting out and just being inspired," said Heather Castillo, Hays. "I am trying to get back into painting also, so it's very inspirational."
For Michael Cairns, the inspiration he found while on the gallery walk was not to pick up a paint brush but a guitar.
"I just started drawing, but this makes me want to go home and play guitar now just looking at the musicians," Cairns said.
The gallery walk also was the first event to kick off the HAC's celebration of 45 years since it was established. To celebrate, the HAC offered guests mini cupcakes and a small variety of food and drinks.
Brenda Meder, director of the HAC, said the event attracted more than 1,200 people.
"We were finally shooing the last of them out around 10 p.m.," Meder said. "It was a long, but delightful day. It is work, it is a lot of effort, but it is worth it when you end up with this type of experience."