Mercer Gallery hosts FHSU exhibit

GCCC Information Services
A collage using colored pencils and watercolors by Chandler Reich is among the artwork on display at Garden City Community College's Mercer Gallery by Fort Hays State University students. The exhibit, titled "Fort Hays State University Drawing Majors", runs through Sept. 11.

A new exhibition opened today at the Garden City Community College Mercer Gallery entitled “Fort Hays State University Drawing Majors” and will run through Sept. 11.

The exhibit, provided by FHSU Drawing Professor, Amy Schmierbach and features drawing majors: Chandler Reich, Kammy Kennelley-Downs, Kourtney Sweet, Jared Ean Jennings, Marisa Kistler, and Brandon Fleming.

“The goal of the project is to expand the arts in the regional-arts community to help reach more individuals,” Schmierbach said. “We want to create more opportunities.”

The exhibition showcases many different styles, techniques and drawing mediums ranging from non-objective to naturalistic. The main gallery houses individual artwork from each of the seven drawing majors while the back gallery features items from “The Collaborative Art Project,” which was started by Schmierback and is based on the model of socially engaged art. It seeks to create abstracts with communities for their benefit and for the benefit of public arts.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for residents of Garden City, students, and really all of Southwest Kansas alike to see creative ideas from arts beyond the region,” said Michael Knutson, an art instructor at Garden City Community College. “It’s also a great networking tool for students.”

The project is funded by Creative Arts Agency Integrations with a grant written by Schmierback and Maliegha Siglinger-Alber, a recent graduate of FHSU. The gallery is working in collaboration with Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas, which serves community members with a variety of special needs, including autism and down syndrome. The organization will match funds for the project.

“We are teaching these students a craft and giving them a chance to express themselves while making a career in art,” Knutson added.

The art gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays during the regular academic year. It’s located in the west wing of GCCC’s Pauline Joyce Fine Arts building.

Exhibits are always free and open to the public. For more information, contact Knutson at 620-276-9644 or

A self portrait by Brandon Fleming using charcoal and acrylic on wood is one of the pieces of artwork on display at GCCC's Mercer Gallery.