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Downtown Hays a mecca for artists

A thriving, diverse arts community, Hays has more than a dozen venues in which to explore the visual and performing arts.

* Artists @ Work Studio, 717 Main, (785) 625-8604. A working studio of artists. Call ahead for viewing.

* Hays Public Library, 1205 Main, (785) 625-9014, www.hayspublib.com. Features temporary exhibits in its gallery and participates in seasonal downtown gallery walks.

* Kris Kuksi Fine Arts Studio and Gallery, 807 Main, (785) 621-4002, www.kuksi.com. The working studio of artist Kris Kuksi, who earned a master of fine arts degree from Fort Hays State University in 2002. Kuksi creates art that brings to light social issues, death and things of beauty. He creates paintings, drawings, sculptures, murals, illustrations and portraits, some of which are displayed throughout Hays or can be seen by appointment at his private studio.

* 711 Studio, 711 Main, (785) 625-4895. Local artist Michael Jilg's paintings, drawings, lithographs and etchings are featured in this Main Street studio. Jilg is a past Governor's Visual Artist and has exhibited in the U.S., England and Asia.

* Stone Gallery, 1071รขÑ2 W. Sixth, (785) 625-7619. The studio and exhibit gallery of local artist Pete Felten, whose works include native limestone, wood, clay and plaster.

* Ellis County Historical Society, 100 W. Seventh, (785) 628-2624, elliscountyhistoricalmuseum.org. Features seasonal exhibits and annual events such as Legends of Old Boot Hill and an annual Christmas open house.

* Pottery Works, 126 W. Ninth, (785) 628-2738. A ceramics workshop where visitors create their own works of art by painting and decorating their choice of pottery.

* Dugan Studio, 107 W. 10th, (773) 209-1487, www.joeltdugan.com. Joel T. Dugan and his wife operate this studio where he shares his love of painting. Dugan is a professor of art at Fort Hays State University.

* Bruce Burkholder Studio and Gallery, 116 E. 11th, (785) 650-3673. A photo-realist, Burkholder's works include paintings, drawings and digital photography.

* Dennis Schiel Studio & Gallery, 107 E. 11th, (785) 639-1220. Originally from Colorado, Schiel now resides in Hays. His studio displays his original fine art and commissions. He provides framing services, sells art supplies and teaches art classes.

* Madd Matter Frame Shop and Gallery, 112 E. 11th, (785) 628-3552. Sales gallery featuring work from John C. Thorns Jr., Doloris Pederson and other area artists.

* Hays Arts Council/Hays Arts Center, 112 E. 11th, (785) 625-7522. Art gallery with year-round exhibits, including the annual Five State Photography Exhibition and the Smoky Hill Art Exhibition. Host of community gallery walks in spring, summer, fall and winter, and arts courses for adults and children.

* Hadley Art Collection, Hays Medical Center, 2220 Canterbury. Includes more than 200 works of art including paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, sculpture and fabric by Kansas artists.

* Fort Hays State University, 600 Park. Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Encore Series, Hays Symphony Orchestra, Smoky Hill Chorale, artistic exhibits, and theatrical and musical productions by students, faculty, community members and guest artists.

* Sternberg Museum of Natural History, 3000 Sternberg Drive, (785) 628-4286. The museum features an ever-changing exhibit of Dr. John Cody's works as well as temporary exhibits throughout the year.

* Hays Community Theatre Inc., (785) 656-0281, www.hctks.com. A community-centered organization designed to challenge individuals of all ages and backgrounds to share their talents through theatrical performances.

* Thomas More Prep-Marian High School and Hays USD 489 schools annual theatrical and musical productions.