By Mina Truong, features editor
The Steckline Gallery starts off the fall semester with an art exhibit by Derek Wilkinson and Patricia Kahn titled, “Paradoxes and Extremes: Where the Heavens Meet the Prairies.”
The opening reception was from 5 to 7 p.m. last Friday and the exhibit will continue to be on display through Sept. 21.
Kahn, professor of art education at Emporia State University, focuses on the paradox she sees in the prairies by employing various mediums such as pen and ink, mixed media, oil, acrylic, weaving and jewelry to convey themes of nature, ecology, spirituality and culture.
“For a place that has extremes of heat, cold, wind, and fire, there is also regeneration and a capacity for life, and that’s my inspiration,” Kahn said.
Kahn coined the term “silver zone of regeneration” to represent the silver lining where the skies meet the prairies, depicted by the silver weaving material connecting the colors of the skies and
Kahn said that her art will generate interest in the “preservation of the prairie and respect for something that can regenerate.”
Also teaching at ESU, Wilkinson chooses a different focus from Kahn by concentrating on portraying observations of people and life experiences through the medium of painting and drawing. He has been doing real life depictions as well as many self-portraits for eight years.
“During that time, I found a lot of different ways to include a narrative and emotions,” Kahn said.
Kahn alternates between paintings and drawings because he likes having different project lengths to work with. Since his paintings could take years to complete, during that time he would switch to work on drawings which take significantly less time.
Wilkinson tends to place himself and his friends as the subject in his works which allows him to create a “narrative” that can connect to viewers universally.
Students interested in seeing this exhibit can visit the Steckline Gallery from now until Sept. 21.
The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.