New exhibit at Mulvane Art Museum features interactive art

A new exhibit opened at the Mulvane Art Museum Friday, June 20, with an open house and reception Saturday, June 21, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Once Upon a Time…Art for Children by Topeka artists Jim Sharp and Frank Peers are being displayed, but the highlight of the exhibit is Imagine: Children’s Art from Mulvane Art Programs. The art is elementary school student art from Mulvane’s children’s art programs like Art After School.

The Mulvane Museum brings art lab projects for children after school to all Topeka elementary schools because art is no longer available or taught in classes. It is sponsored by outreach after school programs. The Mulvane Museum brings art classes 10 times per school year to about 70 elementary schools in Topeka.

“The exhibit features 77 works of art created in the Mulvane Art Museum’s Art School and afternoon art programs from 2013-2014,” said Julie Myers, curator of exhibitions. “More children’s works of art will be hung throughout buildings on the Washburn University campus.”

“We have an exhibit of two Topeka artists who stir the imaginations of children and adults alike,” said Jan Bychinski, museum receptionist. “There is a fantastical feel to them and they are a nice grouping.”

The featured two adult artist’s works are meant to inspire the artist in all who come to the museum to create works of art.

One adult artist is Frank Peers, born in Topeka; he lived from 1891 to 1938. Peers studied at Washburn University and went on to medical school at the University of Michigan. He also served in World War I, then went on to MIT to study architecture and later art. He continued his learning in France.

Jim Sharp, 1946-2011 was self-taught and already a talented printmaker when he came to Washburn to study printmaking. He graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in history. Sharp was captivated with World War II and painted many World War II dioramas, which are now displayed in a collection in the Kansas National Guard Museum in Topeka.

Included in the exhibit are various pit stops for visitors to make to create works of art, including weaving, wire crocheting, self-portraits, a color wheel, printmaking and much more. Visitors can create or add to a mosaic on a wall, play in a Lego art lab or make pictograph rock art on a large rock in the museum. The current exhibit runs until July 26.

More art classes will be offered throughout the summer at the Mulvane Museum. Myers urges everyone to come out this summer to try the kid-friendly Summer Razzle Dazzle Art Lab classes. They are for everyone—children, teens and adults.

For more information about Razzle Dazzle, call 785-670-2420. The Mulvane Museum Art lab is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. It is free and open to all ages.