Area Students and Artists to Take Part in Regional Art Exhibit
The exhibition, which will run Nov. 9-24, will feature artwork that is made of recycled materials or references recycling and sustainable living. The museum has partnered with Sustainable Shawnee, a local, non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable living and educating the community on how to live more “gently” on the planet, to draw attention to the importance of recycling.
“We wanted to give artists the chance to create art with a different inspiration,” said Donna Merkt, Curator of Education for the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art. “There are so many artists that are out there who are creating really incredible art work, and recycling to do so. This is a tradition that goes back in art for centuries. Artists have always been resourceful and creative.”
This is the fifth consecutive year that the museum has partnered with a local organization to help raise awareness and give contributing artists a unique theme on which to create their works. The exhibition will feature nearly 200 unique works of art, with individuals contributing more than 60 pieces and another 117 entries coming from students in school art classes representing elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and universities.
“The Regional Art Show has gone a long way toward helping us create better ties with the community and giving people in the community ownership over it” Merkt said, “where they see it as ‘my’ museum, not ‘the’ museum. This exhibit is our biggest community opening of the year, and it’s also the one where we see the most kids. It’s a time where we get people coming to the museum who would never set foot in here otherwise.
“People have these ideas about museums being these kind of cold, sterile places, where you can’t touch things, and you have to be quiet, and events like this go a long way toward helping us break that stereotype.”
The choice of partnering with Sustainable Shawnee for this year’s exhibition was fortuitous, as curbside recycling has recently been implemented by the City of Shawnee.
“It’s so fun to see artists thinking outside the box,” Merkt said, “artists that normally work in oils or pastels that do something totally different. It’s also an opportunity for people who never considered themselves artists to just do something fun. There are quite a few pieces from people who don’t consider themselves artists.”
Admission to “Don’t Waste: Create!” is free for anyone who brings in a paper product to recycle, whether it’s a newspaper, a magazine or a phone book. Visitors will also be able to view the museum’s permanent collections, in addition to the works created for the exhibition. Sustainable Shawnee will recycle all donated paper products following the exhibition.
For more information about the MGMoA Regional Art Exhibition “Don’t Waste: Create!” contact Donna Merkt at email@example.com or by phone at (405) 878-5605. To learn more about Sustainable Shawnee, visit www.sustainableshawnee.org.