By CRISTINA JANNEY
The 36th annual 5-State Photography Exhibition will be the anchor of the Hays Arts Council's Winter Art Walk from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday.
The exhibition includes a selection of 155 fine art photographs from residents of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado.
"It is open to anyone," said Brenda Meder, HAC executive director. "There is no age restriction, so there is no minimum age or maximum age. There is no amateur versus professional category or student versus adults. It is just about the quality of the work and the image. ...
"It is about making art through the medium of photography," Meder said.
Photographers entered 323 pieces this year, which was whittled down by juror John Finch, a professional and master photographer from Wichita, to what will be seen in the exhibit.
Finch has judged for HAC before and had pieces in the floral art exhibit at the HAC this fall.
"He gave us a really good diverse body of work," Meder said of the 5-State exhibit.
"The show itself is beautifully diverse in that there are traditional things, more straight forward things, but there are also conceptual things that are a little bit more avant garde— things that are about layering photography, things where people are really pushing boundaries and going out more on limbs, but also things that are immediately responsive and identifiable."
The 5-State Photography Exhibit will remain on display through Jan. 29. Fifteen hundred dollars in prize money will be awarded to the top photographers. Another 14 works earned juror merit recognition.
Other stops on the Walk
This is the largest Winter Art Walk assembled with 26 sites. Many of the sites will have events starting early. Many sites also will have exhibitions that can be seen on Saturday.
The Downtown Hays Development Corp. will have its holiday kickoff at the Pavilion starting at 5 p.m. This will include the holiday tree lighting ceremony, carriage rides and
The Ellis County Historical Society will present "The Blue Light Lady" at 7 and 7:30 p.m. also at the Pavilion.
Music will abound with The Monumentals from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Paisley Pear; Brad Dawson at J Studio and Salon; music by the FHSU Academy of Mathematics and Science students, HHS Chamber Singers, and students of 809 Studio at the 809 Studio; and Jim Pisano and William Flynn from 8 to 10 p.m. at Gella's.
Several students will be presenting their bachelor of fine arts exhibits Friday, including Shai Christensen and McKenna O'Hare at the Hays Arts Center Annex; Emily Kohls at Indigo by Jasmine; and "Auguries" at the FHSU C.A.T.S. Gallery by Austin Bieberly.
Three other exhibits will be featured on campus — two in the new Arts & Design building. They are art from FHSU's permanent collection at the new Moss Thorns Gallery, and the FHSU Advanced Painting students in the lab in Room 219 of the Art & Design building.
Drawing 101 students' art will be on display in the FHSU Robbins Center.
The Hays Arts Center Annex will also host "The Collaborative Art Project," which is an art project that brings students together to work with the intellectually disabled clients of DSNWK. The project is spearheaded by FHSU professor Amy Schmierbach.
"I love to see so many diverse elements of our community come together," Meder said.
You can do some Christmas shopping during the art walk. The Downtown Winter Market will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday night in the historic Strand Theatre Building, 1102 Main St., and the Men of Bethesda Place will sell holiday crafts at 115 W. 10th St.
"When you get the literary, performing and visual arts — all those different art forms and all those different disciplines — together in a comprehensive way like we do for our art walk, there is something special and unique you don't necessarily see in other communities," Meder said.