The Mercer Gallery at Garden City Community College is going big with its first art exhibit of 2019, with the large-scale figurative paintings of University of Kansas instructor Michael McCaffrey

McCaffrey's pieces, which explore aging and the human condition, will be featured in the main gallery through Feb. 1. Students from the KU Painting Club will be exhibiting work in the back gallery.

A closing reception is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 1 in the gallery, featuring live music from the GCCC Jazz Faculty Ensemble. McCaffrey will be on campus from Jan. 25 to give a live painting demonstration from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the GCCC 2D art lab.

McCaffrey’s paintings are some of the largest works ever exhibited at GCCC, with three paintings measuring over 14 feet in length. The subject matter of the artist’s work chronicles his elderly father’s daily interactions inside his Lawrence home in an ongoing series of paintings. His father, also named Michael, served in the Army and later worked as a detective with the Lawrence Police Department.

The student work in the back gallery features a range of abstract and representational images that vary in scale. Each piece tells a story and gives the viewer insight about each artist involved. The students featured are Bailey Gardner, Libby Richey, Elizabeth Sundahl, Joe Sciacca, Chloe Sotomayor, Cadence Learned, Jackson Reed, Devin Schneider, Anna Meacham, Emma Kellogg and Madison Tubbs.

The Mercer Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all events are free and open to the public.

For information about the gallery, contact Gallery Director Michael Knutson at