‘Mulvane Merriment’ brings local artwork to the public

Friends of the Mulvane Art Museum, Inc. women’s board hosted “Mulvane Merriment,” an event to support the Mulvane Art Museum and to provide scholarships for art students.

Trish Peterson

The Friends of the Mulvane Art Museum, Inc. women’s board held a day filled with “Mulvane Merriment” last Saturday in the Mulvane Art Museum.

Many returning artists attended as well as some new ones to join in the annual holiday art sale.  Members of the women’s board also made a variety of baked goods which they to raise funds with proceeds going to support the Mulvane Art Museum as well as providing scholarships for as many as three art students each school year.

A couple of Washburn University’s art professors took part in Mulvane Merriment. Chris Arensdorf, adjunct professor, who teaches the fall pottery class at Washburn, featured some of his beautifully functional pottery. Not only is it artwork, you can eat on it, bake with it and even use it in the microwave and dishwasher. Arensdorf sees no need for pottery without a function.

His wife, Ruth Arensdorf said they have their own kiln at home and he fires everything himself as he needs to.  She says they never buy any dishes, baking or otherwise, Arensdorf makes it all himself.

“All of our cups are these cups; all of our baking dishes are these dishes,” said Ruth Arensdorf while gesturing to the pottery they had on display. “It all [must] have a function.”

Lynda Miller, adjunct art professor, also participated in her first year of Mulvane Merriment.  Her partner Roberta Walker said they have only been working together on their wool based artwork, which is called fiber art, for a year. They make a variety of objects, from wool scarves, to trivets and Christmas tree ornaments to bars of soap wrapped in wool. They plan on attending the Mulvane Art Museum’s spring show in 2011.

Jami Hamilton, of Overland Park, Kan. has been attending the annual show for five years, and plans on coming back as long as she is invited.  Hamilton specializes in lampwork bead jewelry, which are intricately designed and hand-made beadworks.  She has earrings, necklaces, and bracelets as well as individual beads for sale.  She has a small studio in her home as well as a section in a boutique called MLK in Overland Park, Kan.  Hamilton’s artwork can also be viewed during first Friday art walk at the Crossroads in downtown Kansas City, Mo. in the Crossroads district.

Joyce Furney, of Manhattan, Kan., had Raku ceramic art which is a Japanese style of pottery. Furney stresses that it is not food safe or water tight and it is very fragile. She tells her customers in the beginning they are decorative only, and this is due to the firing process and the chemistry of the type of glaze used on this type of pottery. To learn more about Raku pottery, Furney’s web site has more information.

Cassandra Cohen, of Topeka, has a bachelor’s degree in art from Washburn University. Cohen had fused glass for sale, with all colors of the rainbow available. Featured, were artful pieces as well as functional ones including different types of jewelry.   Cohen expressed how much she enjoys participating in the museum’s many events and looks forward to being involved in future endeavors.

“I love Washburn University,” said Cohen. “Anything they ask me to do, I do.”

Check out her website (http://www.cassandracohenarts.com/index.php) to contact her, find out more about her artwork and even buy it online. To view Furney’s art, go to http://www.theclaycellar.com/index.html