Faculty art on display

Welcoming visitors to the art gallery is a massive painting of a woman within nature.

Her feet curve to grip the large boulder from which she peers down. Behind her, a brilliant sun glows with a golden sheen that warms the gallery.

She is a radiant, pale-skinned figure made up of gentle, wide brush strokes.

The art department faculty and staff begin every spring semester by opening the art gallery featuring their own work.

Twenty-two members of the art department have their most recent work on display.

Kevin Booher has been teaching in the art department for 30 years, and his skill, as well as knowledge of many types of materials, is evident in this painting.

He has combined acrylic and oil paint and 22-karat gold leaf on cotton canvas primed with rabbit skin glue. He applied traditional painting techniques going back centuries.

Booher regards this painting as his “love poem to nature and the human form and all their wonders and beauty.”

Painter and assistant professor of painting Kevin Muente’s paintings are incredible realistic renderings of nature.

He is capable of fooling the eye with his steady hand and use of oil paint to believe the images are photographs. If someone looks closely, they will see his works are perfect depictions of a natural environment.

Muente often sits outside and observes a location for many hours while painting and sketching. He also takes photos of an area at different times of day to see what composition is the most interesting to paint.

Along with his paintings, he has presented two pieces of art that are fleeting moments in time, “Cloudstudy” and “Missouri River,” both of which were painted in 20 minutes.

Muente is influenced by the Ash Can School of artists, especially Robert Henri who said, “Paint when the idea possesses you.”

Beside Muente’s work in the gallery, there are two photos of Ireland in October by Barry Anderson, the Assistant Dean of the College of Arts as well as professor of photography.

Anderson’s photos capture landscapes that appear to be on the verge of turmoil or have just past through such a time. Anderson has also been with the department for 30 years.

Ceramic, turquoise leaf forms are also mounted on the gallery wall. Cheryl Pannabecker’s “Leaves” give the appearance they are floating in air. They seem to be caught in the act of drifting. The art looks like vessels waiting for their cargo.

Professor Richard Fruth’s pieces, made of wood and bronze, create surreal moments in miniature landscapes.

Steven Finke, a sculpting professor, used wild grape vines and stainless steel hoses and spent 15 hours to create a sphere that is suspended from the ceiling titled “Wild Grape Vine.”

Alternatively, Laura Hollis, a part-time faculty member, presents the viewer with art that is purely based on the foundations of drawing.

Hollis took a large piece of black vinyl and silver marker and laid out an entire drawing.

Hollis’ art was also included in the Freedom Center Show in August and past faculty art shows.

The exhibit will be on display until Feb. 3 in the art gallery. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The small gallery, where artists are usually spotlighted, is under construction due to a leak in the roof during winter break. The water setting on the tongue and groove flooring transformed it into tongue and curve flooring.

Tobias Brauer and Julie Mader-Meersman’s artwork, two professors whose art originally was scheduled to be on display in the small gallery, are now in the large gallery along with the faculty and staff show because of a leaking roof in the small gallery.