Newman University students are no strangers to Final Friday in Wichita. On July 28, students and alumni had their art displayed at the Hue Gallery.
Final Friday occurs at the end of each month when local artwork is displayed in a variety of galleries, restaurants, museums and retail shops in Wichita. The public may view the artwork and even buy directly from artists.
Newman University student Marissa Kucharek had three pieces, the printing of which was donated by Donlevy Lithograph, displayed at the Hue Gallery on Friday, July 28. Kucharek noted that her favorite was her piece titled "Keeper of the Mountains."
Kucharek was joined in the Hue Gallery show by Newman alumni Anthony Dozier & Hannah Somes.
Kucharek is an art major with a concentration in photography and graphic design and in fall 2017 will begin her sophomore year at Newman. She picked up photography as a hobby in middle school and has been participating in Final Friday since 2014. "I try to do at least one or two shows a year," Kucharek said.
With a long history of Final Friday shows, Kucharek has a long list of awards and accomplishments. Her first award, which she received in 2014, was third place for a portrait she entered in the Botanica, The Wichita Gardens photo contest. Since then she has entered in multiple shows, has been featured online and has appeared in several publications. Another large accomplishment was when her work was chosen to be displayed at the Mark Arts Photographic Arts National Exhibition in May 2017, an exhibition open to all of North America.
Kucharek said much of her inspiration comes from her aunt, but she also finds inspiration through National Geographic and Art for Lunch talks. The talks are arranged by Mary Werner, associate professor of art, in conjunction with the current Final Friday show at the Newman Steckline Gallery.
"I really love those. I wasn't expecting those and it's really nice that Mary sets those up. That really helps a lot for inspiration." Kucharek commented.
She looks forward to being involved in future shows at venues like Mark Arts and City Arts in Wichita.
Dozier's most iconic piece during the Final Friday show at Hue Gallery was inspired by Mardi Gras and was ironically completed on Fat Tuesday. Dozier is a 2008 graduate of Newman and obtained his business administration degree. "I had the most wonderful experience at Newman ... people cared and you were a name."
Somes, a 2017 graduate, won Best in Show with her painting "Melina."
"The inspiration for this piece, in particular, was women in my life who have transformed or grown as a person." She added that the honeycomb and bee aspect of the painting depicts strength, hard work and having a sweet side.
She looks forward to a future of painting and traveling. When asked about inspirations at Newman she was quick to mention Werner, as well. "I've grown a lot just by being around her."