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Young artists get creative for event

8/24/2014

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

Budding young artists' creations graduated from the kitchen fridge Friday and reached a wide audience at the 30th annual Fall Art Walk in Hays.

The 24 stops along the circuit included work from children. The pieces ranged from artistic renderings of anything found in a garden to a collage of creative sticky notes.

The Hays Public Library's Trish Davies Room was a glimpse into the imaginative minds of children. A wall was covered with a multi-colored collection of Post-It notes decorated with rough doodles, words, detailed sketches and paper cutouts fashioned into objects.

Dhir Patel, Hays, a freshman at Hays High School, contributed a painted Post-It.

The Mario video game inspired Patel's creation.

Patel said he believes the Art Walks foster goodwill toward art.

"It inspires people to do art and have more respect for art," he said. "The world kind of revolves around art. Everything is art."

The "Our Community Garden" exhibit at Salon Ten-0-Seven featured a magical atmosphere surrounding submissions from community schools. Walking in the basement was a journey through a garden overflowing with materials repurposed into flowers, bugs, crops and other related objects.

Lexi Kinderknecht and Faith Fondoble, fifth-graders at Roosevelt Elementary, created a sunflower made from newspaper, cardboard and other elements.

Fondoble said she appreciated the chance to showcase her work.

"It's really cool because you don't always get that opportunity," she said. "It's awesome that other people get to see it because not everybody can just walk into your school and say, 'Hey, I know that person, and they did that artwork.' "

Kinderknecht said art is important because it stimulates one's imagination.

Dereama Allenbaugh, co-partner of the salon with her husband, Dwight, said they have hosted Art Walk galleries for 12 years. It was their first show for children, and she hoped the setting sparked artistic ambitions.

"It will inspire them, hopefully, to want to continue to create. ... I just think that it's planting seeds for people to become more creative and enjoy the things they can create with their hands," Allenbaugh said.

Professional artists also were featured on the route. Brian Hutchinson, a Fort Hays State University graduate, also had art on display.

Some of the art was darker and included fake skeletons, blood and a taxidermy boar head.

The artist explained he explores the different aspects of humanity and taps into what inspires awe. He strives to make his show unforgettable.

"It has a lot to do with the extremes of the human experience," Hutchinson said.

The main exhibit, titled "There's No Place Like Home," was a multi-media gallery of artists' interpretation of the concept of home. The pieces reflected the artists' life experiences and perspectives. Inspired solely from the idea of home, there was a vast collection of paintings, sculptures and pieces created with such materials as hooks, buttons, school supplies and food wrappers.

Brenda Meder, executive director for the Hays Arts Council, said the showcase delved into the essence of the artists.

"It's really more about the layering of our lives and experiences and our art as sort of a synthesis for what it is that we create," Meder said.