The Newman University Steckline Gallery will present "From the Ground Up" by artist Ron Michael as the fourth show of its 2012-2013 season. The exhibit of ceramics, sculpture and drawings, which begins with a Final Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, will be on display through Dec. 19. Both the reception and admission to the gallery are free and open to the public.
An "Art for Lunch" presentation by Michael will be held Tuesday, Dec. 4 from noon to 1 p.m. in the gallery. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can also bring their lunch. This event is also free and reservations are not required.
Michael has served as curator at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, Kan., since 1997 and has taught courses at Bethany College in Lindsborg. He received a master's degree in library science and information management from Emporia State University in 1995, and a master of fine arts degree in design (ceramics) from the University of Kansas in 2000.
His work has been exhibited in many regional and national exhibitions. Michael has also juried numerous art competitions, been associated with several regional art organizations, and served as a reference librarian for the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
"I make ceramic vessels, sculptures and drawings that are inspired by the landscape, soil and geology of Kansas," Michael said. "Having family roots in Jewell County, Kan., and living in the state for many years, I have had ample opportunity to witness the unique diversity of this region. I am especially drawn to hillside areas where rocks and other elements have been exposed by prolonged weathering.
"In my vessels and sculptures, I am a strong proponent of utilizing native materials and simple, non-mechanized, processes. The clay used in many of my pieces includes a percentage of clay dug south of Montrose, Kan. Often I will combine ceramic pieces with found limestone and/or wood forms that I have sculpted. Although taking a backseat to the ceramic and sculptural forms, I have continually made drawings. They permit an additional method of addressing landscape and regional influences, and I find them a strong component in my creative process."
The Steckline Gallery is located inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus, 3100 McCormick. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 316-942-4291, ext. 2199.