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150 years of art comes to Baker

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For its 150th year, Baker University will celebrate its history with an art show featuring the works of past and present professors in art.

The Holt-Russell Gallery inside of Parmenter Hall will hold these pieces, some dating back to the 1860s. Walt Bailey, special assistant to the president for development of the arts, has been assembling the art shows in the Holt-Russell Gallery since it was established in the late ’70s.

Bailey said shows in the past have borrowed works from places like the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., as well as from individuals. Graduating students majoring in art have also held shows featuring their endeavors.

“The work in this show is all very different,” he said. “The gallery showing is for the campus and the community, as well as the art students.”

Bailey said among the collection of art coming to campus this month are some replica pieces by the oldest professor on the list of featured faculty art. Ada A. Brewster was a professor at Baker from 1865-1867 and her work depicts the Kansas landscape in the mid-1800s. Bailey said her original pieces are in a gallery in Kingston, Mass.

Bailey said the opening reception for the art show is 5-7 p.m. Tuesday. He said the artist’s reception is 2-4 p.m. Sept. 16. Bailey said he hopes having two showings will allow more people to attend.

“In the past we have had problems with the art shows overlapping with meetings, classes or other campus events,” he said. “Having a showing on Tuesday evening can allow students to check us out during their meal time and still attend the Artist and Lecture Series later.”

Senior Matthew Dixon said he attended the Red Star Studio ceramics show in the Holt-Russell Gallery last year and plans to attend this upcoming show.

“I had never been to a ceramics show before and I thought the pieces were great,” he said. “I wish our art department had more enthusiasm and more support.”

Director of Art Inge Balch said these art shows allow students at Baker to have a first hand look at art.

“Art is entertainment for the soul,” she said. “My hope is that we are not so busy so that we can enjoy things like this.”

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