“Dove” by Lana Kaylor, art teacher at Andover High School.
Now in its 11th year, the Central Kansas Art Educators Exhibition has been making a venue available at McPherson College for those public school art teachers who spend their lives developing young artistic talent and instilling in them a passion for their work.
And this year, the exhibition in Friendship Hall on the MC campus is larger than ever, with 94 works from 25 current and retired public school educators.
“This is done as a celebration and appreciation for what art educators are doing here in Kansas,” said Wayne Conyers, professor of art. “I see this as a part of the visual arts department’s service to the broader community. Sometimes there are educators out there in the public schools who just don’t have a venue to show.”
The work will be on display through April 1 in McPherson College's Friendship Hall, closed only for spring break March 19-23. There will be a closing reception for the artists open to the public on Sunday, April 1 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The variety of works in the exhibition reflects the variety of artists work on display. From ceramics, sculpture and clay monoprints, to photography, painting and airbrushing, the artistic work ranges broadly both in size and theme.
At the far end of the gallery are large canvases as tall as a person – work by Chris Pauls at the Sylvan Lucas Unified High School with Biblical imagery and aspects that look like they are pixelating on a computer screen. As a visitor makes their way down the hall, they can see delicate silver scratchboard works by Kathy Schroeder of Hesston, bold pinstriping work by Roger Scovell of Derby andceramics that look like boiling lava by Abram Brensing of Hutchinson.
Lana Kaylor, art teacher at Andover High School, says that sometimes her inspiration comes from the examples she makes for students.
“It is my belief that art is for everybody,” she said. “And a person doesn’t have to be great at art to benefit from its therapeutic qualities.”
James Caldwell, art instructor at Halstead High School, said in his artist’s statement that his inspiration comes from diverse sources.
“Being a high school art teacher and father, my life is full of moments and comments that create visual images in my mind,” Caldwell said. “I feel compelled to create.”