NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – When David Long, assistant professor of art at Bethel College, discovered that his barber was also a visual artist, he decided there needed to be an exhibit mounted at the college.
Works of acrylic on canvas by David Friday, Wichita, will be on display in the Fine Arts Center Gallery starting Friday, March 7. The opening reception for the exhibit, “Art Treasures,” is that evening from 5-7 p.m. just outside the gallery.
Friday has earned a living as a sign painter, graphic designer, decorative wall finish painter and purveyor of his own hand-painted T-shirts. In 1997, he decided to take a more practical route and attended barber school. His love of painting continues unabated, however, and his customers at Watson’s Barber Shop at 21st and Amidon in Wichita have their hair cut while surrounded by many of his original paintings.
Friday currently works in acrylic on canvas, building up a textured surface before adding color. His subjects include still lifes, landscapes, animals and portraits. At present, he says, he is focusing on “painting people with big, toothy grins.”
“Art Treasures” runs through March 28 in the gallery, located inside the Fine Arts Center building on the Bethel campus. Regular gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (the gallery is closed Good Friday, March 21, and Easter Sunday, March 23). There is no admission charge.
Upcoming exhibits this school year include the annual student exhibition, April 11-25, featuring work in a variety of media by members of 2007-08 art classes, and the annual senior art exhibit, May 2-18, showcasing work that graduating art majors have developed during their junior and senior years.
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.