Holt-Russell Gallery

Housed in historic Parmenter Hall on the Baldwin City campus, the Holt-Russell Art Gallery features art by students, faculty, and local, national, and international artists.

Students exhibit their work in an annual juried student art show. In addition, students work as preparers, curators and organizers of their senior exhibitions.

The Holt-Russell Gallery is located on the second floor of Parmenter Hall at 706 Dearborn St.

Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Saturday noon – 5 p.m.
Closed Sundays and Major Holidays

Russell Horton
Assistant Professor of Art
Director Holt-Russell Gallery

Fall 2019 Schedule

Self-Portraits by Derek Wilkinson | Aug. 29 – Sept. 28

One Man Show

Artist Reception Aug. 30 4 – 6 p.m.

Derek Wilkinson’s self-portraits function like mirrors, allowing viewers to recognize their own anxiety, silliness, melancholy, joy, discomfort, satisfaction, and other fundamental human states. “Self-Portrait with Glasses” from 2004 was the genesis for this entire body of work. In this image, Wilkinson simply stares out toward the viewer with a blank expression. He carried over the approach of obsessively depicting every detail that he had been using on trompe l’oeil still-life paintings prior to this series. “Although, this was a breakthrough painting for me that led me down the path to becoming a figurative artist, I knew it would be a dead end to use the same format again and again for the following self-portraits,” he said.

Wilkinson has approached every self-portrait since “Self-Portrait with Glasses” with the goal of doing something new, whether it is using a different facial expression, compositional format, or application of materials. This experimentation has allowed him to use a wide variety of materials, and learn to construct narratives with a single figure and occasional props. Each work serves as a physical record of his performance in the studio. Wilkinson has learned to contort his face and body to mimic a range of emotions not typically associated with portraiture. At times, Wilkinson mimics the expressions that he remembers seeing on others. In other work, he re-creates expressions that he imagines others seeing on his face at particular moments.

Completing numerous self-portraits in the past 15 years has allowed Wilkinson to explore the depths of his emotional and mental states. In addition, the identity of the subject becomes less important, allowing the viewer to become more receptive to the changing content that is being expressed from one artwork to another. For that reason, self-portraits function as universally expressive vehicles, allowing the viewer to place himself or herself in the mind of the artist.

About the Artist

Derek Wilkinson’s figurative paintings and drawings have been included in numerous exhibitions across the United States. Wilkinson grew up in the Pacific Northwest and received a BFA in painting from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. After graduating, he lived in Bend, Oregon, briefly before heading off to Tempe, Arizona, to pursue an MFA in painting and drawing at Arizona State University. Wilkinson lives in Emporia, Kansas, with his wife and daughter. He is an associate professor in painting and drawing at Emporia State University.

Kelly Steller Hrad: Color Brick Road | Oct. 3 – Nov. 2

Artist Reception Brunch | Oct. 5 10 a.m. – Noon

Kelly has always loved color, creating, imagining, and exploring the arts. Growing up, countless road trips allowed the appreciation of the art of nature, exploration of museums, and visiting galleries. As the miles rolled by Kelly took in the mountains, valleys, canyons, and prairies and socked those visuals away in her memory. Kelly’s journey is expressed on canvas in 3-dimensional paint. Life is three dimensional, full of layers, memories and reflections. Kelly’s hope is that her journey will create a pause, a connection, and a conversation that enhances someone else’s journey.

Kelly reflects on what she loves, what life has been lived thus far. Let the paint, brush, and palette knife clear the mind and do the communicating for her. Never be afraid of color, a little or a lot. Art is everywhere—it’s all in how your mind’s eye sees it, plays with it, expresses it, and reflects the soul. Techniques—combination of oils and acrylic with a variety of mediums and application tools to create dimensional texture and movement on the canvas. Accomplish with art—express emotions and memories through color, texture, and movement. Observe, remember, share, discuss, and reflect to be inspired.

“Life has been colorful, and painting became my secret garden, the way down the rabbit hole, and most importantly the looking glass. Not being afraid to revisit the emotions of the past, facing the unknown of the future, or simply the way the clouds looked a moment ago. A reflection of life thus far.”

About the Artist

Bachelor of Arts—Baker University 

Private Study
Albuquerque, NM Martha Bacon
Plano, TX, Dawn Petty
Dallas, TX, JD Miller
Dallas, TX, Maciej Maga

2019 Art Center of Plano, City of Plano, For the Love of Art
Modern Muses—Artist of the Year 2019
2018 Plano Art Association Show Blue Vision Peoples Choice Award Winner

Third Annual Wildcats Abroad! Photo Competition

Nov. 17 – 23

Artist Reception Nov. 17 6 – 8 p.m.

High School Invitational Art Exhibit | Dec. 5 – 20

Reception & Awards Ceremony | Dec. 7 |  11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Holt-Russell Gallery welcomes brilliant student artists from area high schools to exhibit their works and compete for scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per year to the Baker University studio art program. Art students from Baldwin High School, De Soto High School, and Eudora High School will participate.


Russell Horton, Assistant Professor of Art

Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday Noon – 5 p.m.
Closed Sundays and major holidays

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