Mulvane exhibit showcases faculty work

Elise Barnett /

The art faculty of Washburn University have created a cross-media show to impress audiences well past its inception.

The 2010 faculty exhibit, which debuted Friday October 15 at the Mulvane Art Museum, is a mix of pottery, sculpture, glass work, photography, oil panting, textile and more. Though the Mulvane hosts a faculty exhibit every two years, this year seems to be particularly unique.

“It’s always special,” said Marguerite Perret, associate professor of art. “This year it is particularly special because we have a few new faculty members who are showing this year.”

Perret, who specializes in mixed media installations, had photographs of her recent off-site installations and a pamphlet detailing her work. She also has two large-scale light boxes on display that were part of an installation at the University of Kansas that had never been shown in Topeka before.

Though each artist shows work at various  places over the course of a year, the Mulvane exhibit seems to be especially important to many of them.

“A lot of times we’re showing at other places, sometimes other parts of the world,” said Perret. “This is like coming home and having our own community come and see what we’re doing.”

Not only is it a chance to show off to the community, but it offers these professors a chance to show off their work to their students.

“The cool thing about this show is that the students get to see what their professors actually do as far as their own art,” said Kymm Hughes, adjunct professor of art. “We teach it, but they they don’t get to see what we actually do. I remember when I was a student, I came to see it because I wanted to see what they all really did.”

Betsy Knabe Roe, adjunct professor of art, brings her art appreciation class to the exhibit so they can admire all the hard work put in by Washburn art faculty.

“This show is made up of a lot of big pieces,” said Roe. “There’s a real presence to it.”

The show also allows new faculty to gain insight on their fellow professors and show off what they have to offer the department.

“I’m just getting to know the department, getting to know the individuals,” said John Paul, professor in the sociology/anthropology department, who will be joining the art department this spring. “It’s obvious that everyone is super talented.”

Whether someone comes to see the nearly photographically detailed landscapes of Ye Wang, assistant professor of art, or the looming crescent of wood-cut printed boxes created by Mike Hager, Mulvane Art Museum preparator, attendees can find genius and talent in every collection and from every staff member represented.

The faculty exhibit runs from Oct. 16 until Jan. 23 in the upstairs galleries of the Mulvane Art Museum.