A new exhibition at McPherson College called “Finding Balance” explores the role of the natural world in artwork of all sizes, media, and topics. The show is up now through March 11.
The work of Leland Powers, associate professor of interior design at Fort Hays State University, marks the starting point for the exhibition’s concept. MC invited him to show his work in the college’s Friendship Hall and to also select other artists to join him in the show.
That initial concept evolved into a collaborative show among Powers and two of his colleagues in higher education – Joel Dugan, assistant professor of painting at Fort Hays; and Matthew Ballou, assistant teaching professor of painting and drawing at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
Wayne Conyers, professor of art at McPherson College, said most of the art is on the theme of landscapes, nature, and the outdoors.
“The works in this exhibition explore the spaces that we inhabit, and the experiences that forge our understanding for what is the human condition,” he said. “As we look forward and consider what the future holds, the landscape exhibits memories of the balance we have endured to survive.”
The result of Powers’s work in organizing the show is 46 works, which he delivered to McPherson College. These range in size from smaller than a postcard through taller than a man, and works employ media that include ink, graphic, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, lithograph and much more.
While the exhibit has a theme of the natural world, the techniques and approach vary widely – everything from abstract grids of color to the downright surreal… such as a pink rabbit standing upright on the surface of a lake.
Powers said he sees the foundation of his work as a sense of “place” – even when the natural world isn’t immediately apparent.
“I am a native of the Great Plains and have always been moved by the influence of its large sky and low horizon,” he said. “The linear definition and worked surfaces in my images celebrate the subtle nuances and fleeting visual memories of that world.”
In addition to the featured artists, works are also included from Jacob Crook of Syracuse, N.Y.; Michael Knutson of Garden City, Kan; Eric Norby of Minneapolis, Minn.; Gordon Sherman of Hays, Kan.; and Jared Tadlock of Evergreen, Colo.