May 10, 2013

Margi Sweeton, Wichita, May-June 2013

Designs of the Celtic Isles
Paintings & Pastels by
Margi Sweeton
May1–July 2
Reception Sunday, May 19, 3–5 pm

     Margi Sweeton’s rich and colorful paintings and pastels feature themes and motifs of Celtic scriptural embellishments. These not only capture your visual attention, but may inspire contemplation.
     Medieval monks preserving and copying biblical scripture in Ireland and England, included very intricate designs in borders, scriptural illustrations, and chapter headings, based on the traditional Celtic motifs carried over from before conversion. They also included highly stylized animal, plant and human forms in pleasing patterns. Sweeton’s interpretation of these forms is faithful to the old form and style, but large and often positioned to focus attention on specific elements. Rich colors and intricate patterns of knot-work and intertwining forms are entrancing.
     The original work of the medieval monks was meant not only to decorate, but also to inspire and symbolize the complex intertwining that connects people and living things. The art was produced also as a meditative devotional work of hands. You will find that following the twisting, intricate forms by eye in the gallery absorbing and relaxing.
     Sweeton, who acquired her BFA in painting and continues to paint in both oil, acrylic, and pastel, is also a writer with a keen interest in historical novels, specifically eleventh century Celtic and Viking history. She has exhibited locally and has been represented by Murillo Studio and Gallery in Wichita since 2002.
     A reception for the Margi Sweeton will be held Sunday, May 19, 3–5 pm at the VAAM Gallery, 223 South Main Street, located in the McPherson Opera House. Also displayed are paintings, pottery, jewelry, and other work by gallery members.

March 5, 2013

Rick Frisbie, Salina artist, March-April

     The VAAM Gallery (McPherson Arts Alliance, Inc.) in McPherson features the paintings of Salina artist Rick Frisbie March 1 through April 27.  The vivid colored canvases exhibited have a variety of subjects, including landscapes, still life, figures and portraits.
     One painting expresses this quote attributed to Aristotle, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Frisbie lives by this philosophy. “You learn to paint by painting,” he says. “Artwork is work. It’s a process, and I have so much to learn.”
     Most days you will find him at approximately 5:30 am in his four room studio, where natural light streams in through large windows, to paint for three hours before heading to work as manager of a financial partnership and as a teacher for English as a Second Language courses. In the evenings, and sometimes when he is able to steal away in the afternoons, the artist returns to his studio to perfect his art.
     Throughout his adult life, Frisbie tried his hand at a number of artistic endeavors without any formal training. He created sculptures and hand-dug clay vessels. He built furniture and carved figures out of wood, sandstone and limestone. He dabbled in photography, and sketched and painted in a variety of mediums. His focus dramatically sharpened 13 years ago when he enrolled in an evening painting workshop. The course inspired him to take a watercolor class through the Salina Art Center and to concentrate all his artistic efforts on painting. Shortly afterward, he enrolled in an advanced painting class at Bethany College. He found the classes taught by Mary Kay and Frank Shaw very encouraging and helpful and continued with them for four semesters. Following this he has taken numerous painting workshops located in different states and Canada. His hard work has been rewarded by being invited to hold solo and two-person exhibits and being selected for participation in many juried exhibitions.
     “Calliope of Color” is the title he has given to a broad selection of his paintings from the last several years. A calliope is a musical instrument that produces sound by sending steam through large whistles. They are loud, hard to tune and the pitch of each whistling pipe is affected by the temperature of the steam producing the sound. They are a main attraction of circus fun and parades. He says “When I look at my paintings I sometimes have a ‘calliopic’ experience.”
     “The paintings in this show are whistling a variety of subject matters, styles and techniques. I think that they also whistle with emotional steam—the steam of both the painter and the viewer. Whether fun or serious, one artist said my paintings are united by a ‘strong palette.’” I like color and contrast. And yes, there is something of an intentional lack of perfect pitch and wackiness that my paintings share with the calliope.”
     The reception for Rick Frisbie will be April 7, 2–4 pm in the VAAM Gallery.

February 13, 2013

"What McPherson Means to Me"

All-Community Invitational Photography Exhibition!
January–February 2013
The theme is “What McPherson Means to Me.”
Vote for your favorite photo!
The reception to honor the photographers is
Sunday, February 24, 2–4 pm.

New! Champagne Art Bus Tour!

Champagne Art Bus Tour! (1-day!)
Saturday, April 13, 2013
We’re off to the
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City, OK
Sponsored by McPherson Arts Alliance, Inc. & VAAM Gallery
$75.00 per person includes coffee, breads, champagne, and chocolate on the bus
and special buffet lunch at the Museum!
You’ll love all the western art!
All who’ve taken our Champagne Art Bus Tours have lots of fun!
Bus leaves the VAAM Gallery at 7:30 am and returns about 7:30 pm same day!
No hassles with driving, maps, or parking!
TICKETS - at the VAAM Gallery, 223 S. Main, McPherson (in McPherson Opera House), open Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm, 620-620-241-6131

November 5, 2012

Brian Lingle Photography - Chuck Houchen Furniture

Photography by
Brian Lingle, Hutchinson
Handcrafted Furniture by
Chuck Houchen, McPherson
Paintings by
Larry Lambert, Hutchinson

November 3–December 21
Reception November 18, 2–4 pm

October 16, 2012

2 New Fall Art Classes!

Intro to Airbrush Painting & Equipment Workshop
(adults & older youth)
Instructor: Brady Scott, Hutchinson
Description: Participants will learn about the history of the airbrush, the fields that airbrush artists work in, and examples of great artwork and artists. This will be followed by an extensive walkthrough of the equipment and supplies needed to pursue air brushing as a hobby and possible career, some basic knowledge in other fields of art as it pertains to the practice of airbrushing, demonstration, and some possible hands-on experience.
Date to be announced. (a Saturday, 1–4 pm)
Class Fee: $15

Cartooning—Take your pencil doodling a new direction!
(adults & older youth)
Instructor: LaVena Kay Kidd, McPherson
Description: Participants will learn the history of cartooning, techniques of drawing cartoon character body-construction, and will create a personal cartoon character and how to put it in its own cartoon “universe.”
Tuesdays, October 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20, 7–9 pm
Class fee: $40 (5 weeks)
A list of supplies will be provided to participants before the first class.
Deadline to register: October 22

September 19, 2012

Evening Art Classes for Fall 2012

Evening Art Classes for Adults
(back by popular demand!)
in the Mary Anderson Arts Center of the McPherson Opera House sponsored by
McPherson Arts Council (M.A.C.) & VAAM (Visual Arts Alliance of McPherson, Inc.)

Register in the VAAM Gallery, 223 S. Main St., McPherson
Tues–Sat 10am–5pm
620-241-5774 or 620-241-6131

Jewelry & Metalsmithing Beginners Welcome!

(adults & older youth)
Instructor: Lori Martin Price
Participants will be guided through basic projects to familiarize them with tools, equipment, and media while creating a finished piece of jewelry at the end of each project. Students who have metalsmithing experience can build on their skills and knowledge.
Thursdays, Sept. 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 25, Nov. 1 (not Oct. 18)
5:30–7:30 pm
Class Fee: $55 (6 weeks), Plus a materials fee payable to directly to the instructor
Class limit: 15
Enrollment deadline: September 20

Beginning Ceramics, Wheel Throwing & Handbuilding

(adults & older youth)
Instructor: Leanne Kilmer
Participants will learn basic hand-building and wheel throwing skills to make a variety of pottery shapes such as open, enclosed, organic, & sculptural forms, how to attach handles, and methods of glazing and/or decorating pottery.
NEW DATES: Mondays, October 1, 8, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, (not Oct. 15)
5:30–8:30 pm
Class Fee: $65 (6 weeks) Participants will also purchase materials and tools necessary from the instructor. These will include tools for building with and throwing clay, 25–50 lbs of clay, and glazes. Total is approximately $57.99 depending on glazes the participant uses.
Class limit: 8
Deadline to enroll: September 24

Continuing Ceramics, Wheel Throwing & Tiles 

(adults & older youth)
Instructor: Leanne Kilmer
Participants will continue expanding their hand-building and wheel throwing  skills, learn to throw containers with lids, new methods of glazing and or decorating pottery, use slab roller and make slab projects.
NEW DATES: Thursdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 29 (not Nov. 22)
5:30–8:30 pm
Class Fee: $85 (8 weeks), and participants will purchase materials and tools as needed from the instructor.
Class limit: 10
Deadline to enroll: September 27

 More classes to be announced!

August 31, 2012

All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go

Paintings by Mary Werner
August 30–October 31, 2012
Reception, Sunday, September 9, 2–4 pm
Werner says of her work, “The dress form has been my muse for almost 20 years. Nothing captures my imagination as much as that particular shape. I find it magical. I love the dress. I love that it symbolizes a uniquely feminine experience. It’s easily recognizable in its function and purpose. It describes a universal attitude as well as an individual person. The dress images are colorful, humorous, animated and symbolic. The dress reminds me of the female figure and sharply contrasts the endless racks of black pantsuits in the local clothing stores; the pantsuit has become the modern female uniform. A dress can be flirty and functional, dressy or ordinary. These paintings and drawings were inspired by a 1955 Montgomery Wards–Spring and Summer catalog, which describes each item with great detail, creating a scenario for each article of clothing as if to describe the person wearing it. Not only is that nostalgic but humorous.”

August 3, 2012

A Kansas Reunion

VAAM presents...
Works by Robert Bolton Smith
in the VAAM Gallery
July 3–September 1, 2012
Photography by Mark Hunter
in the Heritage Gallery
August 2–September 29, 2012
Reception, August 4, 2–4 pm

July 23, 2012

VAAM artists are "Artists in Residence" at Red Barn Studio

Monday, July 23–Saturday, July 28!
The VAAM artist-members will be
the "Artists in Residence"
at the Red Barn Studio in downtown Lindsborg.
This will be their 11th year as Artists in Residence.
Stop in and see what each of the artists are working on!
You can also ask them about their work
and see how they do what they do!
The studio is open 10 pm–5 pm.