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Guest artist will open Thursday at Moss-Thorns

Special to The Hays Daily News

Guest artist Matt Ballou will display his artwork at Fort Hays State University's Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art from Thursday to Oct. 25. The opening reception will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

Ballou, an assistant professor of painting and drawing at the University of Missouri, Columbia, has exhibited across the United States, from New York and Boston to Seattle. Ballou also is a prominent writer and educator.

"I create paintings, drawings and prints in an attempt to address -- through archetypal themes and symbols -- the fundamental questions, ideas, hopes and concerns I have about being in the world," Ballou said in the artist's statement on his website,

"Eikonktizo" is a combination of two Greek words, "eikon" and "ktizo." "Eikon" is like an image of the heavenly things and "ktizo" means to create or form. Ballou explains it as "image-making from a consciousness and acknowledgement of the Divine notion."

Ballou will showcase his new collection, "Asevenandawonadoe," featuring 30 paintings and prints.

Ballou's daughter invented the word "Asevenandawonadoe" when she was learning to speak, he said. While completely made up, this word is built on the structures of real words and "symbolizes the notion that abstract concepts, things that cannot be felt with our five senses, such as comfort, happiness or patriotism, are meaningful to us because of the experiences we relate to them."

For more information, call (785) 628-4247 or email