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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

Spring 2019 Schedule

Kansas City Dialogue | Jan. 31 – Feb. 23

Mark Kielkucki & Cathy Logan

Artist Reception Jan. 31 4 – 6 p.m.

Kansas City Dialogue brings together an artist couple’s two different approaches in the depiction of the urban-scape in Kansas City. The well-worn homes, yards, alleys, and neighborhoods of Kansas City and the region have captured Cathy Logan’s interest and become the subject of her paintings. Logan tries to find something of special interest or beauty in the otherwise prosaic settings of her daily life. With the use of reference photographs and sketches made on site, she creates deftly painted images with clarity.

Mark Kielkucki works with a fair amount of ambiguity with the placement of elements within the painting; there is a sense that a story is being told and a new narrative created. By placing a combination of disparate objects in ambiguous or dubious situations while presenting them within an easily understood visual platform, the paintings allow viewers to easily conclude their own personal understanding of the painting without being hindered by factually correct reality, connotations, or conceptual baggage. Even though the individual images are based in the real world, by posing them in a fragile and fanciful coexistence with each other, they create scenes similar to unfiltered dream states.

About the Artists

Cathy Logan grew up in the 1950s in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, which is three miles from Newark and 12 from New York City. As a youngster she roamed the leafy suburban outdoors and nearby industrial landscapes. She and her friends were what are currently referred to as “free-range” children. They explored by bus, foot, and bicycle, developing an appreciation for what could be seen, such as abandoned buildings, horses, streams, and factory dumping grounds. Her introduction to easel painting in Miss Bloom’s kindergarten was the beginning of a lifelong involvement with art. By the time she was in high school, she and her classmates, accompanied by art teacher Mrs. Nancy Coon, embarked on day-long field trips to galleries and museums in New York City. The number 33 bus to New York’s Port Authority conveniently ran past the high school. In 1970 she enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute, earning a BFA in 1974. In 1976-77 she was in the MFA program at Tyler School of Art. She taught art in Lee County, Florida, public schools for 21 years, always striving to do no harm to the creative spirit.

Mark Kielkucki is an artist who works with acrylic paints on watercolor paper and canvas. His art has taken him around the world painting from Kansas City, New Orleans, Portland, and Washington, DC, to Greece, Morocco, Mexico, and Montreal. Mark produces highly original, color-saturated works of art. He is stylistically diverse, working within a series on one theme or subject before moving on to explore the next topic of visual interest to him. When Mark is not painting or writing satire, he can be found gaining inspiration in various jazz clubs around the city. He graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and maintains a studio in the Hobbs building in the West Bottoms.

Baker University Juried Student Show | March 7 – 30

Artist Reception | March 7 4 – 6 p.m.

This exhibition of artworks created by Baker University students will be selected by an outside juror and will showcase the efforts of the students currently working in the studio art program. This competitive exhibition is held to provide art students with the real-world experience of participating in a professionally juried art show. An outside expert nominated by the art faculty will review and select the best student work of the academic year. 

John Sebelius | April 11 – May 4

Artist Reception | April 25 4 – 6 p.m.

John Sebelius grew up in the heart of America. He was raised in an active political household that celebrated diverse communities and people. This type of upbringing led Sebelius to investigate individuals from unconventional American communities. Exploring his own identity and voice within these diverse subcultures has become an essential part of his current artistic practice.

The physicality of Sebelius’ paintings is created through a constant reworking process. Building up layers of ground and physically removing them allows him to connect with his subjects and materials on a physical and individual basis. John’s works combine traditional and alternative materials with a colorful palette. The combination of spray paint and drawing juxtaposes the sensitivity of the line with the visceral and intense mark of the paint. Sebelius searches to create a descriptive surface that can hold disparate images within a unified field. The works are created without any initial planning, allowing them to evolve organically. Movement and texture exploration of the paint is central in his painting process. Memories and dreams surrounding certain individuals and images continue to serve as inspiration for his art.

About the Artist

John Sebelius is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker who holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Kansas and BFA with honors in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. Sebelius’s work has been featured in Harper’s, Express, DETAILS, Review, CNN, Aspen Daily News, The Washington Post, and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Sebelius has shown work in Gallery Two (Sydney, Australia), Woods-Gerry Gallery (Providence, Rhode Island), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, Vermont), Kansas City Artists Coalition, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago and held a solo exhibition at the Gonzo Museum (Aspen, Colorado).  

Sebelius’s short documentaries have screened at the Austin Film Festival, Tallgrass Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, Free State Film Festival, and the American School of Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo. The citizens of Lawrence, Kansas, voted him the Best Artist of 2017. Sebelius founded Artistic Expressions Healing Arts Initiative in 2016 that teaches recreational art to veterans experiencing with PTSD. Artistic Expressions was awarded a Rockets Grant (Spencer Museum, Charlotte Street Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation of Visual Art) in 2018 and TOPArts Grant (ARTSConnect) in 2017 and 2018. Over 250 veterans have participated in the art program since it was launched at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center on January 16, 2018. Sebelius serves as Artist-In-Residence at Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment at the University of Kansas and was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs to be the featured artist for My Cause, My Cleats 2018. John lives with his wife, Allie, and dog, Norman, in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Cooper Allen: Senior Exhibition | May 9 – 19


Past Exhibits

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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