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Photogs anchor winter walk




Hays Arts Council executive director Brenda Meder isn't worried a little chill in the air will dampen enthusiasm for Friday's Winter Art Walk.

"Even if it's cold, by golly, we're going to be here," she said.

The walk is anchored by the 30th annual Five State Photography Competition, dedicated to the memory of Jack Logan this year, Meder said.

Logan, a former board member who was active in the competition, died in August. A total of 163 of the 441 entries were chosen for exhibition.

The number of entries stays in the 450 range, and they are pared down "to a number we can manage on our walls," said Meder, who's in her 23rd year at the arts council.

Daniel W. Coburn, University of Kansas assistant professor of photo media, was the juror for the competition.

"It is clear to me that there is a vibrant, eclectic and skilled community of photographers in this five-state region," Coburn wrote in his juror's statement.

The competition includes a body of work from outside the area.

Photographers meet others and return year after year to renew friendships, Meder said. Though it's a five-state competition, the majority of the entries are from Kansas.

People bring their work to the arts center rather than mailing it, a change in the past 20 years.

This year's walk includes an exhibit by the Hays Photography Club, "a wonderful growing group of photographers," Meder said.

New venues include Couture for Men and JDR Painting. Meanwhile, it most likely is the last year Kris Kuksi Fine Arts Studio and Gallery will participate since Kuksi is moving.

Kuksi's gallery features music by Max Walker, and Singers offers after-hours music by Hooten Hallers at 9 p.m.

Since the doors at the center don't open until 7 p.m., Meder encouraged art enthusiasts to visit the venues open early, such as Thirsty's Grill and Pub and Robbins Center at Fort Hays State University.

The Ellis County Historical Society's Christmas open house also is on the art walk venue list.

* For a complete list of venues, click here.