FHSU professor to exhibit sabbatical works

by Rachel Rayner
Allen Craven, associate professor of art at Fort Hays State University, will hold the opening reception for his sabbatical art exhibition, "Witness," from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, in Moss-Thorns Gallery, located on the first floor of Rarick Hall.

The exhibition is a culmination of work begun during Craven's four-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center, the largest international residency program for artists and writers in the United States.

Craven said he named the exhibit "Witness" because even when he was working alone in his studio, he always felt like someone was there with him.

The exhibit features more than 40 drawings, paintings, encaustic works and hand-carved pipes. Encaustic painting uses heat to melt pigmented wax into layers. Painters can keep the wax flat to create a two-dimensional image, sculpt the wax to create reliefs or use the wax to hold objects in collages.

Craven used oak, bamboo and deer antlers to hand-carve his smoking pipes.

"It's what I like to do when I get tired of drawing or painting," said Craven.

Though Craven has carved more than 80 pipes, many of which are in the shape of animals, only a portion of them will be displayed because he sold many of them.

The collection of works in the exhibit is eclectic, but Craven said that if viewers look for it, they will find an under-lying theme of birth and the cycle of life.

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