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McPherson College Art Professors, Students Stand Out in Professional Kansas Exhibitions

"Lola Dancing With Arnie" by Michaela Groeblacher, assistant professor of art

“Lola Dancing With Arnie” by Michaela Groeblacher, assistant professor of art

McPherson College students and professors have distinguished themselves in recent regional art exhibitions.

Four MC students had their work on display in “Crazy 8’s” at Gallery XII in Wichita in February, and Wayne Conyers, professor of art, took best of show in the unique exhibition. Meanwhile, Michaela Groeblacher, assistant professor of art, took first place for her work overall in the national “Topeka Competition 32” exhibition for the three works accepted into the show, which was at the Sabatini Gallery in Topeka, Kan., in January.

Conyers said the students who entered Crazy 8’s were Chloë Cloud, freshman, Wichita, Kan.; Danna Jacks, senior, Stafford, Kan.; Ian Rhoten, freshman, Wichita, Kan.; and Lisa Koehn, senior, Wichita, Kan.

The rules of Crazy 8’s are simple, Conyers said. All of the submitted works must be exactly 8 inches by 8 inches – no bigger, no smaller. The works from MC students demonstrate the variety possible within those constrains, however. Cloud created a “luscious,” close-up image of a face; Jacks made a mixed-media work incorporating postage stamps; Rhoten made a refined graphic illustration on computer; and Koehn drew a lock on a chain-link fence that, upon close inspection, is found to be covered in words.

“Everybody did something different,” Conyers said. “Which, of course, is what we’re after.”

As for Conyers, he also entered the exhibition with an 8 by 8 watercolor study of a larger work under development. The juror of Crazy 8’s liked the work so much that he selected it as the Best in Show almost immediately, and then purchased the watercolor for himself.

“For some reason it stood out,” Conyers said.

Groeblacher also was recently honored for the three works she entered into the “Kansas Competition 32” in Topeka. She has had works accepted to the show in previous years, but this proved a particularly good show. All three of the works she submitted for consideration to the show – “Lola, Dancing with Arnie,” “Hardy, Martie,” and “Helen” – were accepted. Those works garnered her top honors for her overall work in the show.

Since 1977 the juried show, sponsored by the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, has been providing a venue for 3-D art. This year, artists were asked to submit work on a theme of “History.”