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Gallery features recent work by two emeritus faculty

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Although they have been colleagues for three decades, including as Bethel College art faculty, Bob Regier and Gail Lutsch have not had a show together until now.

“Gail Lutsch and Bob Regier: Recent Works” opened at Bethel’s Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center Sept. 25.

The artist reception will be during Fall Festival, on a Friday (rather than the usual Thursday) evening, Oct. 9, from 6–8 p.m. outside the gallery.

Regier and Lutsch have been part of group shows but not one featuring the work of only the two of them.

Lutsch is showing prints and some jewelry. Regier’s recent work is pastels. In addition, there is a display of his bird prints that have been available as greeting cards and, more recently, in a book titled From Avocet to Yellowthroat (available for sale on the Bethel campus, at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center and the Kauffman Museum store).

“Soft pastels constitute my current medium of preference in studio work,” Regier said in his artist statement.

“Most of my images are nourished by location — the plains environment. It’s the landscape that has been given to me, the place that provides my bearings.

“I hope the work can be engaged on more than one level — pure visual language, or oblique or direct allusions to our common, shared visual world of the Central Plains.

“Certainly the greatest satisfaction comes when I sense that something in my work, whether it be pure visual language or shared visual experience, moves the viewer to a moment of heightened insight and awareness.”

The world around her also inspires Lutsch at times – but not only what she sees directly.

“My work explores color, shape and surface as expressed through images out of my imagination and life experience,” she said in her artist statement. “People, places and events that have mattered to me, objects in my environment, enduring memories and treasured mementos find their way into my paintings, prints, jewelry and mixed-media pieces.

“Sources for imagery vary from direct observation or photo references to invented and abstracted forms. Sometimes images are chosen for their symbolism. Selections made from this sensory blend usually suggest a visual approach, although the work itself as it evolves may lead me to resolve it in unanticipated ways.”

Regier taught at Bethel, and was chair of the art department, from 1965–92. He is a graduate of Bethel College, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and earned his MFA from the University of Illinois.

Lutsch taught at Bethel from 1981–2009. She has an undergraduate degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and her MFA from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

“Gail Lutsch and Bob Regier: Recent Works” will be open in the Regier Gallery through Oct. 23.

Gallery hours are Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sundays 2–4 p.m. There will be special extended hours during Fall Festival, when the gallery is also open Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission is free.

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.