September 11th, 2017
NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Recent work by Bethel College art faculty is now on display in the Regier Gallery in the college’s Fine Arts Center.
The exhibit comprises prints and artist books by Rachel Epp Buller, assistant professor of visual arts and design, and ceramics and photography by David Long, professor of visual arts and design.
The public is invited to the exhibit reception, part of this year’s Fall Festival, Oct. 17 from 6-8 p.m. in the gallery area.
“10.14: David Long and Rachel Epp Buller” will be on display through Oct 24. Regier Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 2-4 p.m.
Most of Long’s pottery in “10.14” is “functional, … intended to make mealtimes more enjoyable,” Long said.
One bowl shape, an “acorn,” is a new one for Long. “It’s an interesting form,” he noted, “maybe not completely functional – but the large lip is projected, to allow fly ash from the wood kiln to settle on the horizontal surface in an attempt to make the whole piece more dynamic.”
The serving trays in the exhibit are also new. Long has been working over the past 10 years on different ideas, but not until this year has he been satisfied with the results, he said.
“The digital photographs are from a collection of images I’ve been working on for the past two years. Many are from my travels to Colorado and Ely, Minnesota, for canoe trips in the Boundary Waters. Others are taken closer to my home in Wichita.”
Long calls himself “a huge fan” of “straight photography,” meaning he has not used Photoshop or other image manipulation programs to alter his images. “What the camera sees is what you see.”
Epp Buller’s work in “10.14” includes monoprints (only one print made from the plate, making each unique), chine collé (thin paper adhered to a sturdier base paper, creating a collaged effect) and pochoir (a delicate stencil process).
The artist books, each handmade and therefore unique as well, incorporate historical stitching methods that bookbinders have used for centuries, along with more contemporary modes of paper-folding.
“My recent work explores concepts of shared knowledge and imagined histories,” Epp Buller said. “Family stories and practical skills are passed down from parent to child, yet much is lost between generations.
“My prints incorporate artifacts of family and cultural heritage, real and imagined, and textual references to the traditions of fine handwork that were often the purview of mothers and daughters, such as sewing, crochet and cut-paper work known as Scherenschnitte.”
The works currently on display in the Regier Gallery “incorporate a variety of historical and contemporary processes,” she said.
David Long holds bachelor’s degrees from Conception Seminary College and the University of Northern Colorado, master’s degrees from the University of Colorado and the University of Arizona, and an M.F.A. from Wichita State University.
Long, who is chair of the Department of Visual Arts and Design, joined the Bethel faculty in 2001.
Rachel Epp Buller is a Bethel graduate and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Kansas. She joined the faculty in 2012.
The Regier Gallery will be closed for Bethel’s fall break, Oct. 5-7, and will have special extended hours during Fall Festival, open Saturday, Oct. 18. Admission is free.
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.