The Newman University Steckline Gallery will launch its 2012-2013 season with "Paradoxes and Extremes: Where the Heavens Meet the Prairies" by Derek Wilkinson and Patricia Kahn, beginning with a Final Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31. The exhibit of paintings and works of fiber will continue through Sept. 21. Both the reception and admission to the gallery are free and open to the public.
An "Art for Lunch" presentation featuring Wilkinson and Kahn will be held Tuesday, Sept. 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.
Wilkinson creates paintings and drawings that draw on his observations of people and life experiences. The artist places himself and friends as the subject matter in the works. While they are depicted literally, Wilkinson creates a "narrative" that is often veiled by symbolism, creating works that can be universally interpreted.
Wilkinson's work has been exhibited in many national juried shows, and he has received several awards, including Best in Show at competitions and exhibits in Wisconsin, Kansas, and Florida. He received a BFA in 2002 from Washington State University, and an MFA in 2006 from Arizona State University, where he also taught drawing and painting classes. Wilkinson now lives in Emporia, Kan., where he teaches painting and drawing at Emporia State University.
Patricia Kahn, Ph.D., a professor of Art Education at Emporia State University, creates artwork related to nature, ecology, spirituality and culture. She works in a variety of mediums, including pen and ink, mixed media, oil, acrylic and, as seen in this exhibit, weaving and jewelry. Kahn explores the paradoxes and extremes she observes as a relative newcomer to Kansas. Her work includes metaphoric themes such as roots, wind, fire, water and earth, portrayed through such elements as fibers extending outside the frames of her works to reflect roots that enable plants to regenerate in spite of the extremes of heat, cold, wind and fire on the prairies.
A native of Kentucky, Kahn became interested in art at an early age, and has studied at Tulane University, Moore College of Art, Seminole Community College, the University of Central Florida and Ohio State University. She has worked in the fields of fine art, illustration, interior design and art education. Kahn has dedicated this show to the late Vici Rock, a fellow weaver who influenced her work.
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.