By CRISTINA JANNEY
Art lovers can join the Fort Hays State University faculty and staff for a mini-art walk on Friday night.
Four galleries will be open for receptions. A reception for “FORTITUDE,” a showcase of FHSU student and faculty art will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hays Arts Center, 112 E. 11th. Also from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., visitors can view an exhibit from the FHSU printmaking students in the Hays Arts Center Annex, 1010 Main.
An opening reception for the annual graphic design BFA exhibition will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art. A reception for Madeleine Stegman’s BFA exhibition will be from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Taylor Gallery in the Applied Sciences Building. This is across the street from the Moss-Thorns gallery.
“FORTITUDE” is a revamp of 2021’s “Fortitude and Persistence,” which focuses on faculty, graduate student and upper-level undergraduate art. It is being used as a recruiting tool for the university art department, said Brenda Meder, Hays Arts Center director.
This was especially important in 2021, when university representatives were limited in their ability to travel to do recruiting, she said.
The exhibit includes examples from all disciplines from the department including both 2-D work and sculpture.
This year, the exhibit will also include work from the interior design students, who display concepts for commercial and residential design projects.
“It’s just a wonderful opportunity to see strong, wonderful, contemporary art,” Meder said.
The exhibit will be at the center through April 20, which is the high school student art day at FHSU. Meder encourages any high school classes in town for the event at the college to take a trip downtown to see the FHSU exhibit.
The next week Meder will be setting up for the annual Smoky Hill Art Exhibition, which will anchor the Spring Art Walk on Saturday, April 30.
Meder said she thought the printmaking exhibit would be a good compliment to “FORTITUDE.”
“The more you give people to look at, the more likely they are to come out. It’s like, hey, the whole mall is on sale, not just two stores,” she said.
The graphic design exhibition, titled “Blue Hour,” at the Moss-Thorns gallery includes 24 students this year and is the culmination of the student’s bachelor’s programs.
The blue hour is the time from sunset to nightfall or right before sunrise (about 20 minutes) when the sun has set or not quite risen, but the landscape is illuminated by the light bouncing around in the atmosphere.
Blue hour represents this roller coaster of time we had during the graphic design program, the students said in their artist statement.
“During COVID-19, time stopped. When we came back, it felt as though time rapidly accelerated and we’ve been working extremely hard to catch up,” they said in their statement.
Karrie Simpson Voth, department chairwoman and professor of graphic design, said the students will be displaying 2-D posters and stamp design, product packaging and original games.
The students were allowed to choose a political topic or cause. They were taught 10 design styles and asked to create five posters using different design styles. The “Blue Hour” exhibit includes 55 posters.
Two of Megan LaRocque’s posters explored female and male roles in society. She randomly asked male student what they would do if women did not exist for a day and female students what they would do if men didn’t exist for a day.
The men made references to sex, playing video games and “wouldn’t notice.” The comments on the poster from women were very different. Women talked about being able to feeling safer, freer and more confident.
They said they’d go the gym, have fun, get a good job, speak their mind, wouldn’t lock their windows, wouldn’t guard my drink, my keys wouldn’t be a weapon and would wear both of my headphones.
She also created a pro-life poster that incorporated the words that an abortion doctor used to describe an abortion, but shaped them into a figure of a baby.
LaRocque of Cawker City also created a stamp collection based on a fictional author who wrote about what is unseen pollution in our oceans. This not included the stamps, but a brochure and book cover.
The exhibition will also include a movie that was produced by members of the class.
“In our video, we have been trying to capture us as a class, how we interact with each other and how we’re different than other classes, as well as show off our work” said Jacob Olson of Russell.
The students said they used themes and colors from the blue hour concept, including pinks, purples and orange, as well as slow motion and time lapse as symbolic of time shifts in the blue hour.
“While in the graphic design program, time felt like it went forward, backwards, stopped, and sped up. We existed outside of the regular 24-hour day. When everyone else was asleep, we were most productive. We worked through countless nights where the concept of time disappeared. This is our blue hour,” the students said in their artist statement.
The “Blue Hour” exhibition will go through the March 25.