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Baker University’s Holt-Russell Gallery will host an exhibition of three realist painters from Santa Fe, New Mexico, from March 2-24. Featured artists are Christopher Benson, Sheila Miles, and Kathryn Stedham.

“I selected these artists to show in the Holt-Russell Gallery for their approaches to realist painting,” said Russell Horton, gallery manager and assistant professor of art. “They represent explorations in the applying of paint to surface to create illusionary responses to the observed world. Via the uses of physical texture, color contrasts, and gestural brush strokes, they create works that give the commonplace extraordinary prominence.”

Benson is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, whose work is derived from the alleys and vacant parking lots of manufacturing buildings or the interiors of suburban households. In addition to national exhibitions, Benson’s paintings are in the collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Special Collections of the Stanford University Libraries, among others. He is the recipient of two Pollock Krasner Foundation Grants and his work has been featured in the Huffington Post and New American Paintings.

Miles’ works of ambient places and times has been displayed in more than 300 exhibitions and more than 100 of her works are in public collections, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Holter Museum; the Missoula (Montana) Art Museum; the Yellowstone Art Museum; Deaconess Billings Clinic; University of Joensuu, Rantasalmi, Finland; and Provincetown (Massachuestts) Art Museum. A lifelong educator, Miles has taught at universities, secondary schools, and workshops throughout the country. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Gottlieb Foundation Fellowship.

Stedham is recognized for her strong gestural style, which incorporates an array of mark-making and painterly surfaces culminating from a lifetime of painting. Stedham’s paintings and monoprints have been featured in public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. Her work has earned multiple National Endowment for the Arts awards, fellowships, and public art commissions. Stedham also completed an Artist Residency Fellowship at the Rio Mesa Center, a University of Utah field-based program that emphasizes ecology and the environment, in early 2017.

Housed in historic Parmenter Hall on Baker University’s Baldwin City campus, the Holt-Russell Gallery features art installations by students and faculty, as well as local, national, and international artists. In addition to working as preparers, curators, and organizers of their senior exhibitions, students also exhibit their work in an annual juried student art show.

The Holt-Russell Gallery is located on the second floor of Parmenter Hall at 706 Dearborn St. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and noon – 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The gallery is closed on Sundays and major holidays.

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