Mercer Gallery at Garden City Community College will stage the 2012-2013 GCCC Art Faculty Exhibition Dec. 8-20 and Jan. 14-26, including a public reception for the artists from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 16.
The exhibition will include charcoal and chalk images by Kyle Chaput, two-dimensional art instructor, and ceramics and sculpture by Brian McCallum, three-dimensional art instructor.
Mercer Gallery, located in the west wing of GCCC’s Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Building, hosts eight to nine public art exhibitions each academic year. Admission is free and viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
The faculty exhibition will take place in two segments, closing Dec. 21-Jan. 13 over the holidays.
The opening reception is scheduled to coincide with the 2012 Vespers Concert, which is set for 3 p.m. Dec. 16 in the auditorium of the Joyce Building.
Chaput joined the GCCC faculty in August of 2011, after serving in 2009-10 as art instructor of record at Texas A and M University, Corpus Christi; and as a teaching assistant in art during 2005-07 at Fort Hays State University. Skilled in techniques and media ranging from drawing to printmaking, he earned a masters in fine arts at Texas A and M in 2010 and a bachelor of fine arts at FHSU in 2007.
“The situations at hand in my recent body of works are intended to evoke the earliest memories of the viewers,” Chaput said. “My imagery stems from a large body of family photos I’ve gathered, both recent and throughout the years. When sifting through these pictorial studies, I find myself more drawn to spontaneous happenings and less so to the staged. I am not concerned with the intentions of the original photographers, but rather their subjects.”
“Though I may end up splicing or cropping the figures,” he explained, “I ultimately try to remain faithful to the poses and, more importantly, emotions developed in each photograph. I hope that by reducing the surroundings to a bleak, minimal atmosphere it will intensify the figure’s sensibility.”
“Understanding that some drawing media are better suited for realism, I chose charcoal and chalk for its directness and sensitivity in mark-making,” Chaput said. “During each drawing, I must work at the tension between getting the charcoal to maintain a sensory quality, all the while maintaining construction of form. Through various layering stages of the media, I attempt to enhance the surface quality of each work by distancing abstraction and figuration. It is through gesture that my version of the past, the subjectivity, is evident.”
Chaput’s work has been included in more than a 15 juried and invitational art exhibitions from Chicago to Los Angeles since 2003, including group or individual shows in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas.
Those included Chronic Directions, a solo show in 2013 at the East Central College Gallery in Union, Mo.; and the 44th Annual National Visual Arts Exhibition in 2012 in Denton, Texas, where he was selected for the purchase award; as well as Biotic Semiotics, a national juried exhibition in the Allen Priebe Gallery at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh; and an invitational show entitled Teanies and T’s at Gallery 112 in Hays.
Others range from the 2011 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition in the Bradbury Gallery at Arkansas State University and the 20/20 Vision Fourth Edition Exhibition, focusing on the art of contemporary university printmaking at the Firehouse Gallery in Louisville, Ga., to the 52nd Delta National Print Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center of Little Rock, in 2010, where his work earned best of show honors and appeared on the exhibition catalog and poster.
His prints were also featured in A Few Good Men, an annual invitational exhibition at the Garden City Arts Gallery; and at an international show in the JayKay Gallery, Carrouge, Switzerland.
He has earned at least 17 awards and honors for his work over the past 10 years, including a Congressional Art Award in 2003, an Arkansas State University purchase award in 2011 and a best of show designation in Little Rock, Ark., in 2010.
Chaput has served as an art juror for the Corpus Christi Art Center and the Texas Art Education Association. He has also served as a contract printer and print maker in a number of settings in the Corpus Christi area and in Kansas, and as a printmaker’s assistant in Dresden, Germany. In addition, he worked in an internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
He was commissioned for a Kansas Wind Energy Project children’s coloring book in 2008, and has also done work under commission for the Hays Community Theater; various individual, public sector and commercial clients; and for Brad Bosch of the Professional Golf Association.
He and his prints have been featured in publications in Arkansas, Kansas and Texas. Chaput’s images are included in nearly a dozen public art collections, including displays at Arizona State University, the University of Minnesota, Texas A and M University, FHSU, the University of Mississippi and the Kansas City Art Institute.
Nearly 40 private owners display Chaput’s images, including collections in France and Japan, as well as Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
He has presented art workshops and lectures at a number of colleges and high schools in Texas and Kansas, and maintains membership in High Plains Printmakers, the Kansas Artist Craftsmen Association, the American Print Alliance and at least six other regional and national art related organizations.
McCallum, who became Mercer Gallery director in 2011 in addition to his instructional duties, has been a member of the GCCC art faculty since 2003, teaching ceramics and sculpture courses, as well as others.
He served as GCCC Fine Arts and Humanities Division director in 2007-2010, and was elected president of the Kansas Artist and Craftsman Association.
“My latest work is composed of three parts,” McCallum said. “First, from the potter's perspective, I consider how the simple vessel form has developed an aesthetic along with being utilitarian in function.”
“The second phase of my current body of work continues my figurative series,” he said, “but is a departure because the figures are abstracted, perhaps so much that the viewer may not see humans at all. To me, these forms are simple enough to read as distinctly masculine and feminine and also complex enough to leave the door open to whatever interpretation the viewer finds important.”
“The final phase of this exhibit is an evolving installation work that involves group participation,” he added. “It is about meeting goals before the ends of our lives.”
“Motivation for this component of my work stems from a recent experience where my family and I witnessed a fatal car accident on Interstate 70,” the sculptor and potter explained. “Seeing a man of my age and similar station in life -- a working father -- take his last breath in front of me shook my attention into heightened focus of how sacred, precious and all too temporary is our existence.”
“If we are to survive the next few decades and prosper, humans need to begin thinking about interacting with one another in microeconomic situations that involve less trampling through the world with huge carbon footprints,” McCallum said, inviting viewers during the first week of the exhibition to share hopes for their own future lives. He is asking those who visit the gallery to complete the sentence “Before I die…” so he can incorporate their aspirations into a piece of art for display.
“My hope is that as we gather to view the exhibit,” he said, “we will laugh, cry perhaps, and think about what is really important to us.”
McCallum's creations were selected for a recent show entitled Combined Talents in Tallahassee, Fla.; The International Nude Show in Lexington, Ky., where he earned a cash award; and the 2007 national show at the Baker Arts Center, where he earned first place in the three dimensional category.
He has staged solo shows in recent years at the Pinon Hills Art Gallery, La Veta, Colo., the LGBT Center, San Diego, Calif.; and the art gallery at Dodge City Community College.
McCallum creations were included in the Rendezvous National Clay Invitational at Jackson Hole, Wyo., in 2010, as well as a recent KACA member show. In addition, he oversaw and helped organize KACA national exhibitions and conferences at Fort Hays State University and Johnson County Community College, and provided presentations in the 2011 Kansas Art Education Association conference in Garden City.
His work also made up part of the First Biennial Concordia University Continental Ceramics Competition in 2006, in St. Paul, Minn.; the 2006 Smoky Hills Art Competition in Hays; and the Sandhills Art Association Juried Exhibition in Garden City, where he earned a cash prize in 2005.
In addition, McCallum pieces were chosen for a 35th annual clay exhibition at the Crossman Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. A group of his ceramic pieces appeared in the Red Dot Fine Art International Figurative Show in Santa Fe, NM, and a vase created by McCallum is included in the collection of U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
Four of his sculptural works are featured in the publication, Five Hundred Figures in Clay. He has attended more than two dozen art workshops over the past six years, including Wichita State University’s Claynation, and given demonstrations at a number of colleges and high schools.
McCallum earned bachelor and master of fine arts degrees at Kansas State University, and his forms are included in numerous private and public collections. His creations have also appeared in nearly three-dozen regional, national and international art exhibitions since 2000 in eight states. He and his techniques were featured in Pottery Making Illustrated, a national magazine.