From cardboard cut-outs to Willie the Wildcat World, artists’ works are displayed in colorful arrays in the William T. Kemper Art Gallery. Black history month, photography contests and more are all shown there on the first floor of the K-State Student Union. The exhibits, which are held by the Union Program Council, are held for two to three weeks at a time.
Ashley Moore, UPC Arts Committee co-chair, said UPC likes to expose visitors and students to as many different types of artwork as they can.
The latest gallery being shared, “Apples and Such” by Connie Fitzpatrick, freshman in fine arts, is available for spectators to see apples in many different lights, besides a simple fruit.
Moore said it is usually those who are persistent and confident in their dreams that go to UPC.
“She is a student here,” Moore said. “We like as UPC like to promote students’ work and what students here are working on. We thought Connie represented the school in a great way with her art. She is very talented.”
Not only were Moore and the UPC Arts Committee blown away by the delicacy and creativity of Fitzpatrick, but outsiders were as well.
“My favorite is the ‘Playa de Arena Azul.’ It looks nice, and I like the feeling,” said Kirk Bodendistel, freshman in pre-medicine and friend of Fitzpatrick.
Lovers of Fitzpatrick’s “Apples and Such” went beyond friends.
“I always come in when there is new artwork. My favorite is ‘Rainy Day’ and ‘Playa de Arena Azul.’ Those two seem to actually capture the essence of their titles,” said Pang Her, junior in public relations.
Fitzpatrick said positive feedback from her work raises her confidence level. She believes she was born with this passion to create and made it a personal goal to have her pieces up somewhere on K-State’s campus.
Moore said UPC usually puts up student work in the spring because by then, potential artists have a good selection from fall semester projects. Students’ work is displayed as first come first serve.
“Generally, we don’t have to contact students. We have in the past, of course, but usually students come to us. Connie did, wanting to display,” Moore said.
Fitzpatrick went for the opportunity. She contacted UPC in the fall of 2009 and received word back this spring.
“I saw UPC showed students’ work and thought ‘I have nothing to lose; rejection will happen at some point.’ Plus, I wanted to get experience, and the earlier the better. I wanted to show people what I can do,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick said she decided to attend K-State because it offered a friendly and pretty campus, as well as an outstanding art program with a scholarship she could not refuse. Although her apples theme started in the previous summer, her works displayed in the gallery are from this past fall semester. Fitzpatrick said she chose apples as the item of interest because of their shape.
“I like the natural shape, circles and waves,” Fitzpatrick said.
The paintings are made with acrylic, spray paint and scratches made with sand paper to top it off. Fitzpatrick said she applies acrylic with credit cards or any type of card to make the background, creating a smooth look, and the apples themselves are finger-painted.
“I hate brushes,” Fitzpatrick said. “I use lots of toxicants. I need to stop using spray paint. I want to be more ‘green.'”
Viewers can find Fitzpatrick’s work not only at the Kemper Art Gallery, but in several stores in downtown Hutchinson and at the Hutchinson Art Center.
Fitzpatrick said she is hoping to sell some work because it would be nice to have some money.
“Don’t worry,” Fitzpatrick said. “I plan on doing more exhibits throughout my stay at K-State. With lots of ideas in mind, this is only the beginning. Definitely.”
Fitzpatrick said her favorite work in the gallery currently is “You are IT Hide and Seek” because colors go well together. She also admires the story behind it: the three-in-one painting represents pure life, enjoying life as it is, being like a kid, going outside to play, nothing serious.