BY ALEX JUAREZ
On Friday of November 15th and Saturday, November 16th, the Kansas Artists & Craftsmen Association (KACA) hosted their 54th annual conference at Ottawa University in Ottawa Kansas. Artists and art students from all over Kansas came to experienced workshops of professional artists working in types of 3-dimensional media where the group gained professional guidance to became better with their work of art.
During the conference, participants engaged in bidding to a silent auction on items that artists created. The workshops showcase the artists’ techniques through clay, metal, wood, jewelry, glass, mixed media and more. This year featured artists were Mark and Bambi Freeman, a married couple from Ellinwood, Kansas that shares their art pieces from national art fairs and workshops. Mark’s artworks contribute the works of ceramic pots, while Bambi decorates images of ceramic vessels and together, both creates a highlighted manipulation of ceramics and process both glazing and firing.
There were other workshops from professional artists that shows and displays how we can create art from different media. One of which is Dr. Steven Boese, who works his art pieces of woodworking with combining his interest in both science and art to create steam-bending in wood and enjoys his free time creating it. In his workshop, he shows how participants can make our own space with woodworking skills at home with the basic materials for everyday purposes.
Jessica Belangee who expresses organic objects that create patterns and subconscious from the human mind. Her workshop presented attendees with the experiment of drawing and oil painting. Karen Mckenzie McAdoo works with jewelry-making in the art world. She taught participants forms of weaving with yarn or fiber with beautiful patterns. Finally, art professor at Dodge City Community College and KACA board member, Jennifer Nolan’s art pieces create ceramics and glasswork that make into the art of beautiful jewelry. Her workshops involved lampworking with making glass beads with gas torches that participants play with fire.
On Friday night, all the participants and members engaged in a gallery talk with Jessica Belangee. KACA artist and participants displays the Material Mastery Exhibition at the Carnegie Cultural Center. The art center hasn’t been opened for 9 months since the passing of their host. However, FHSU Alumni, Crystal G. Arnett is now the Gallery Associate for the art center and wishes to gain more art exhibits shows at the art center. Finally, the conference ended with the board meeting to retake the board members and plan to visit the conference to the eye of the tiger at the home of FHSU next year. If you would to get to know the KACA conference experience, go to www.kansasartistcraftsmenassociation.com or follow the conference at their Facebook page at KACA Kansas Artist Craftsmen Association.