Picture a serene rustic landscape: muscular horses contentedly munching freshly-baled hay, farmers furrowing the fertile soil or enjoying a hard-earned respite from their toils, man and beast alike reveling in a gloriously rubescent burst of sunset. This describes some of the photography of Kathryn Ellis.
Spanning the length of the Washburn Art Building’s walls, the blooming young artist’s creative work attests to a diverse repertoire. Photography in either nostalgic black and white or brilliantly vivid color forms the corpus of the display, which also features some of her sculptures and paintings.
A heavy rural theme pervades the series of pictures that hang on the wall.
“I grew up in Scott City, very country place,” said Ellis.
Referencing the preponderance of horses in her photos, Ellis says they’re one of her favorite things to photograph. In fact, the photograph that has brought her the most acclaim is an unpretentious colored frame displaying four horses of sage visage convening around a feeding trough and simply titled “Horses.”
Ellis’ black and white photography has a quaint charm, starkly real but exuding warmth. In one series titled “Missouri Ranch,” there is a small picture of a man tossing hay inside a barn, framed in an ethereal glow emanating through the partially-open doors.
A senior pursuing her bachelor of fine arts degree, Ellis is Washburn’s very own Ansel Adams. With a knack for capturing intimately unguarded snapshots of her subjects, Ellis’ lens is more like a human eye, sensitive to a beauty that transcends mere shapes and colors.