GREAT BEND - The Shafer Gallery at Barton Community College will premiere an exhibit featuring Michael Knutson and Brian McCollum from Feb. 26 through April 1 with a virtual reception at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 via facebook.com/shafergallery.
Knutson is an accomplished visual artist who works primarily as a painter and is an art instructor at Garden City Community College. He has an active national exhibition record of solo and group shows and has completed many public art commissions for intuitions such as the Sternberg Museum of Natural History.
The base for Michael’s work is a deep connection to the immediate environment, life experiences and the way the mind interprets this information, according to – michaelknutson.com.
“Emotions can strongly be prompted by a place,” he said. “My strongest influences are my immediate environment, life experiences, and the way my mind interprets this information. I work both in the studio and in the landscape researching a wide range of physical and emotional experiences.
"I am interested in cinematic scenes, with a strong sense of impending drama. The surface becomes visually captivating and eerily mysterious at the same time. My artistic language applied to slightly isolated yet familiar landscapes allows the viewer to transcend a common place to make the insignificant significant.
"Every paint stroke harbors intent, yet I try to create with abandonment. Through the process of addition and subtraction the viewer is hopefully left with fragments of memories suspended in time. The figures in the work are losing control of what is real and what is imagined, while still being present in their own reality.”
Gallery Director Dave Barnes said he is excited to feature Knutson’s work as it brings a unique brand of art to the gallery. “Michael Knutson is no stranger to the Shafer Gallery,” he said.
"He first exhibited here as a stellar graduate student working with Fort Hays State University professor Joel Dugan. Since then, he has become a stellar art instructor in his own right at Garden City Community College. Michael’s work can be described as barely controlled energy in paint. Dynamic, in-your-face canvases, filled with dazzling light, courage, and subjects that cannot be forgotten. They have a common and wry sense of humor, very personal, eccentric even, but always accessible. When I think of Michael’s work a word comes to mind that is sometimes missing when talking about art; that word is fun," Barnes said.
The exhibit will also feature a small exhibit of sculptures by Knutson’s fellow Garden City Community College Art Department comrade, sculpting instructor Brian McCollum.
For more information, contact Shafer Gallery Director Dave Barnes at [email protected] or (620) 792-9342. The Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Masks are required. Admission is always free.