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McPherson College’s Friendship Hall Hosts First Juried Art Exhibition for MC Students

The approval of the visual arts professors at McPherson College can mean a lot to college students at MC. The current exhibition of student work in Friendship Hall on campus, however, shows that the approval of an art expert who has never met them can mean even more.

Wayne Conyers, professor of art, said this is the first time in his memory that the annual student exhibition at MC has been juried by a professional, with awards and recognition.

“It’s one thing for us to say ‘This is good,’” he said. “But we may be biased. It means a lot for someone outside of the program to judge just on the work.”

About 100 pieces are in the current show, displaying a wide range of media. Conyers said there are multiple benefits to putting in the additional work required to put on a juried exhibition.

“Once they graduate, if they are going to be showing work, this is the venue,” he said. “It’s more real-world – preparing students for what the competitive art world is all about. It makes the students more critical of their own work, and that’s a very good thing.”

A final reception for the exhibitors will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Friendship Hall on Thursday, Jan. 28. The award winners for the exhibition are:

  • Best of Show, Studio: Chloë Cloud, freshman, Wichita, Kan.
  • Best of Show, Graphics: Danna Jacks, senior, Stafford, Kan.

Honorable mentions:

  • Lisa Koehn (2), freshman, Galva, Kan.
  • Ste’fon Walker, senior, Mendenhall, Miss.
  • Danna Jacks, senior, Stafford, Kan.
  • Melicia Evans (3), senior, McPherson, Kan.
  • Monica Ewy (2), junior, Halstead, Kan.
  • Kaleena Nelson, freshman, Spring Hill, Kan.
  • Nathan Holthus, senior, McPherson, Kan.
  • Scott Bullis, senior, Colorado Springs, Colo.

At the same time that the student exhibit is up, the four visual arts professors at MC also have an exclusive exhibition up at the McPherson Arts Alliance, Inc. VAAM Gallery at 223 S. Main St. in McPherson.

Conyers; Dee Erway-Sherwood, associate professor and program director of graphic design; Ann Zerger, associate professor of art; and Michaela Groeblacher, assistant professor of art, are showing their work in an exhibition called “Four of a Kind.”

“All four of us are professional artists who have chosen to teach,” Conyers said. “We’re not teachers who happen to teach art. You’re not going to be an effective educator if you’re not madly in love with what you do. The worst thing you can do as an art educator is stop doing your work. It will come back to haunt you.”