(Photo: Nelson Smith, Round Tower, detail)
Bethany College Art Department will welcome two new faculty members with a gallery exhibition beginning October 10 in the Mingenback Art Center Gallery. The show, “Introducing: Eleanor Heimbaugh and Nelson Smith,” will continue through October 28 with a closing reception and gallery talks scheduled that day from 2-4 p.m.
Artist and educator Eleanor Heimbaugh earned a BFA at Washburn University in Topeka. Heimbaugh is currently teaching as the Ceramics and Sculpture Visiting Artist Professor at Bethany College while completing her MFA in Ceramics from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.
“I have always been curious about the environments around me,” she said. “Since childhood I’ve explored my surroundings through extensive bike rides, hiking adventures, and inquiry leading to discovery.”
Her current ceramic work is a pseudoscientific investigation of artifacts, specimens, and fossils, of 21st Century American culture. Heimbaugh is considering how these archeological discoveries if found may be interpreted or valued in the future, and what histories or narratives they may tell. Her current ceramic work uses the hand building techniques of coiling, slab construction, sculpting, and press molding combined with mixed media additions. Heimbaugh has presented research and had her work juried into national and international shows.
Nelson Smith, professor of 2D media and chair of the Bethany College art department, has received wide-spread recognition as a painter and sound artist. He is a Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellow, Ballycastle, Ireland and recent Senior Artist-In-Residence in Painting and Drawing from Oregon College of Art and Craft. Grants include a Lighton International Artist Exchange Program Travel Grant, four state Michigan Council for the Arts Individual Artist Grants, and numerous other awards. His work is included in significant public and private collections.
Smith paints schematic languages developed from research of landforms, communities, culture, and mythologies. A vocabulary of objects and plants are imposed into the work in a way that can reinforce the diagrams/schematics or conflict with them, as a parallel set of dramatic relationships.
Recent work is based on travel in Southeast Asia through interpretative diagrams of Vietnamese culture and history layered with spiritually based schematics of mountain landscapes; a residency in Ireland that features layers of diagrams and imagery based on history and mythology embedded in peat bogs; and a residency in Portland, Oregon that shows tensions of an urban culture thriving on geologic fault lines that run through the region.
The gallery exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Mingenback Art Center Gallery, located at the corner of Olsson and Second Streets in Lindsborg, is open daily Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact the Art Department at (785) 227-3380, ext. 8244 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.