January 5, 2018
Story by Micah Oelze
The Shafer Gallery will host an opening reception for its upcoming exhibit “The Search for the Sublime” at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Shafer Gallery. “The Search for the Sublime” features landscapes created by artist Mark Flickinger. The opening reception will include refreshments and a gallery talk by the artist.
Flickinger earned a bachelor's degree in painting and drawing from Wichita State University before receiving his Master's in Painting from Indiana University; galleries across the nation have featured his artwork since. Flickenger serves as the department chair of Visual & Performing Arts at Cowley College where he has been instructing art, history, painting and drawing since 2001.
As the title of the show tells, most of Flickinger’s recent work focuses on his search for the sublime in iconic American scenery. Much of the work featured in this show is from Flickinger’s sabbatical where he painted on location from Yosemite to Newfoundland resulting in a large body of work.
“It is important for me to be in the landscape and experience the light, weather and changing nature of the place,” Flickinger said. “I paint studies In Situ [in its original place]. These include oil studies, drawings, watercolors, photographs and journals. When possible, I collect rock and plant samples from these locations. Upon returning to the studio, I will develop the finished paintings, often relying most heavily on memory.”
Director of the Shafer Gallery Dave Barnes expressed his appreciation for Flickinger’s style and process.
“The work of Mark Flickinger explores the ability of art to create places of revelry where time stands still in the luminescent moment,” Barnes said. “His dedication to that moment is evidenced in his In Situ approach to processing what he sees in front of him. The sublime must be experienced. It can’t be described with words.”
The gallery will also feature the ceramic work of Barbara Stevens, a retired art faculty member from Cloud County Community College.
“Barbara’s work has the look and feel of Earth and geological processes,” Barnes said. “It is a wonderful accompaniment to Mark Flickenger’s bold landscapes.”