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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 2018 Schedule

Mark Cowardin: On the Bright Side | Sept. 27 – Oct. 20

Artist Reception Sept. 27 4 – 6:30 p.m.

Mark Cowardin is a father, a husband, an artist, and an educator.  His studio practice consists of an essential and delicate balance of these four jobs. Mark’s sculptural work examines the complicated, sometimes troubling, and always compelling intersection between humans and the natural world. His graceful sculptures juxtapose materials and conflicting ideas and as a native U.S. Midwesterner, Cowardin examines the complex relationship to natural resources that the Midwest sometimes embodies. The implications of Cowardin’s narratives are sometimes alarming, complex ,and layered and often ultimately tinged with yearning for a connection to the past and a hope for the future.

At the core of all of Cowardin’s work is a keen awareness of his personal connection to the delicate environs of which he speaks. On the Bright Side is an exhibition that truly illustrates this point in a variety of ways. Much of Cowardin’s work begins with the observation of the absurd, as it relates to the intersection of humans and the natural world. The work illuminates, literally, the extreme beauty that ironically exists in some of humankind’s most damaging examples of consumption. The sculptures in this exhibit are works that isolate “puffs of smoke” that have evolved into simple shapes that are removed from their original context and presented as amorphic forms, focusing on their sensuous beauty.

Mark Cowardin received an MFA in sculpture from the University of Arizona and a BFA from the University of Kansas. A professor of art and chairman of the Department of Art, Photo, and Film at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, Cowardin resides with his family in Lawrence, Kansas. His work is included in numerous private and public collections, including the John Michael Kohler Art Center, Kohler Corporation, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and Rockhurst University.

Wildcats Abroad! Photo Competition | Oct. 22 – 27

Artist Reception Oct. 24 6 – 8 p.m.

Kerry Hirth: For a Hundred Years | Nov. 2 – 24

Artist Reception & Recital Nov. 14 | 7:30 p.m.

A large part of our experience of music now is through films and computer games where it is used to support a story or narrative.  But just like music affects how we see things and arrange them in order, visual images influence how we hear music. The depth of this resonance frequently defies explanation. Our experience of a film score driving the plot of a film is basically unconscious. The images on screen and the soundtrack, although synchronous, are actually independent from each other and not causally related. There is something profound, immediate, and powerful in that relationship between music and visual art—and it has something to do with time. Because sounds, pitches, and harmonies in music do not exist outside of a time frame in which they occur, music can provide the basis for our perception that time has passed.

The exhibition For a Hundred Years is the collaborative effort of visual artist Kerry Hirth and Baker University faculty member, conductor, and composer Jim Funkhouser. This collaboration includes a month-long exhibition of new works by Kerry Hirth and a recital and artist talk premiering new music by Jim Funkhouser. Kerry Hirth creates unique pastel paintings based on the harmonic patterns of musical compositions. She will discuss the relationship between music and visual art, and the great power of color, images, and language in visual music. Both the artist and composer respond to themes in the epic poem “The Wanderings of Oisin,” by William Butler Yeats. For a Hundred Years comes from a refrain in the epic, which tells the story of Oisin, a mortal king, and the span of time in which he lived in perfection in an undying land. Music and visual art thread together a story of living, dying, and the exceptional synthesis of experience in between.

Mary Tusten: Senior Exhibition | Nov. 29 – Dec. 22

Artist Reception Nov. 29 4 – 6:30 p.m.


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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