Artist Galleries

Dianna Bartel

Acrylic on Canvas

Contemporary Kansas Landscapes; Day and Night

One would think you could look at the Kansas prairie from any point, and the view would always be the same, but it's not. Every shift of the wind changes the view. Grasses move and colors vary by the hour; warm to cool depending on the ever-transitioning clouds overhead. Clouds move through on the constant breeze and the sky is an artist's palette of color; brilliant or soft, full or empty, or somewhere in between. 

Inspired by the kinetic joy of big skies and wide-open spaces, my goal is to catch just a moment in time that makes your heart buzz; to make you smile or to remind you that all of creation is out there waiting for you to step into life and find joy in it.

I love the graphic, bold nature of the changing space. Reducing the detail of grass and sky to energetic movement of brush and color gave me the chance to explore each joy filled moment. I am grateful for the opportunity to share it with you. 

SEE TOPEKA PARKS & GREEN SPACES ART PROJECT

MIXED MEDIAS

Topeka, Kansas – SEE TOPEKA - 13 PARKS, 13 ARTISTS

A tribute to thirteen of the one hundred nine public/private parks in Shawnee County will come to life as Stephen Smith Gallery exhibits the “original” works of art used as inspiration for the prints displayed around Topeka for the SEE TOPEKA park project.

Mary Gage of Lawrence, Kansas commissioned twelve additional local artists to create the works reminiscent of the iconic 1930’s-era WPA National Park posters in celebration of our city’s parks and green space, and to remind us how parks enrich our lives. The series has been made available to the public, as posters and postcards inspired by the originals at various Topeka locations since its unveiling earlier this summer.

For the first time, the thirteen artists’ original works will be made available for public viewing and purchase. The “originals” will be on exhibit at Stephen Smith Gallery during the months of September and October for continued public viewing.

Rob Bauer

Acrylic Painter / Illustrator

My work represents a combination of traditional landscape painting suffused with elements of contemporary abstract art and viewed through a geometric lens. My style is characterized by bold colors, crisp lines, and stark contrast against negative space.

When approaching a composition, I’m motivated by the connection with the subject matter it evokes, and the creation of an alternative means of experiencing the surrounding world. I’m most at home when I’m outdoors, and painting strengthens and deepens my appreciation for the experience.

I’m fascinated by the interaction of color in our surrounding environment as well as on canvas, and I’m intrigued by the ability of hard edges and geometric shapes to depict a natural environment inherently devoid of corresponding simplicity.  My work is reductive by nature.  Each piece is a study in contrast as I strip a complex environment down to its simplest elements without sacrificing the understanding of the original subject matter.

Cascade Sunrise - 36x24 - Acrylic on Canvas
Morning Garden - 48x36

Karen Heuton

Referential Contemporary Painter with Acrylics

I grew up in the Midwest and acquired my gift for art through artists in my family. I started painting at an early age, winning the Hallmark contest my senior year.  After graduating I continued to teach myself, creating many paintings, doing some shows and winning several awards.  Currently I work out of my home studio.  For the last sixteen years I’ve traveled the country doing art shows. When at home, I’m working on commissions and creating new works.

My work has always been described as referential contemporary. Acrylic paint, bold colors, recognized from a distance. Recently I have evolved into mixed media using lots of texture doing landscapes and florals. My palette now is cool grays mixed with warm tones on canvas. Platte knife and tools to create design.  I want to transform my paintings into a serene and comforting place . . .  I wish my viewers to go into that calm, tranquil space. 

Passion for art makes everything around me inspiring.  Nothing goes unnoticed, the sky, tree, branches, shapes, textures, I embrace them all. I constantly seek the Artist within.

My greatest compliment: “When I wake up in the morning and see my painting, it makes me happy!”

MJ King

Colored Pencil

MJ chose colored pencil for her current works because of the compact nature of the medium, and the ability to create when time allows. She quickly fell in love when she discovered techniques which she calls “scribbling with a purpose”. These techniques allow the color to flow in a manner similar to pastel, her other chosen medium. MJ has spent the last 26 years working as a graphic artist and a photo retouch artist. Even though raising a family and career responsibilities did not allow much free time to work on her personal art, MJ continued to build her skill by working with other talented creatives who helped her understand good composition and color theory. She has come a long way from watching crayons melt and blend on the radiator at school! 

"Was she as tiny as eye boogers?" - 30x30 - Mixed Media on Wood Panel

Brad LeDuc


"Wonder" with mixed media

As a father, some of my most memorable moments with my two boys, included their astute observations made in random situations when they were little.  These observations were often followed by a statement that was profound, poetic and/or poignant. 

een the ages of three and six, I was adamant in preserving their witty remarks by documenting them verbatim.  Over the years, a few statements quickly turned into several, creating a-very-unique and personal list of one-liners.

This body of work was created using these phrases as inspiration.  Each piece is an interpretation taken out of the context it was originally stated.  In the end, the work is a collaboration of our experiences; often dreamy and sometimes impossible.  My hope is for the viewer to experience a bit of the original wonder created by my boys’ expressions.

Stephanie muñoz-o'neil


five with mixed media

The body of work created for this show has been a lovely flow of observations I have been taking note of this past year and a half. Awareness of how I look and see is a gift that I cherish because I know it feeds the intense details that I capture. I work on canvas, linen, wood, Masonite with modeling paste, acrylic, pencil, ink using glass, tinsel, volcanic crystals, beads, thread, nails, wire and recently, found objects.

As a slave to detail, mixed media allows me to play.

Sky on Fire

cindy manry

acrylic on canvas

 

This collection of art intentionally reflects my personal style. I love art to be bold, abstract, and dramatic, yet include design elements that are subtle and detailed. Using deep saturated colors mixed with neutral and soft toned shades appeals to my eye. Large scale canvas with great colors, interesting shapes and patterns help to move the eye around the art piece. I often use this method of design in combining contrasting pattern, texture, shape, size, and color in my interior design practice as well. 

colie ryan

oil painter

Throughout engineering school, I threatened multiple times to quit and go to art school.  I don’t regret my decision to press in my engineering career, or even to let my creativity lie quiet for so long.  My “day job” has afforded me the opportunity to live all over the country, to travel the world, and to collect art along the way.  Almost 4 years ago, somewhat on a whim, and somewhat out of frustration of knowing exactly what I wanted on my wall and not being able to find it, I bought my first oil paints.  I have since learned that the blank canvas is simultaneously intimidating and freeing – much like living in a new place or traveling to a foreign country.  Life, nor painting, works out perfectly every time, but when it has for me, it has been rooted in truth.  In my experience, being brave enough to look for my truth is when the magic happens.

In 2018, I hit the road, being accepted to some of the best outdoor art festivals in the country.  I won several awards and one Best in Show.  It’s wild for me to think that my art is in private collections from California to Missouri.  By nature of the art festival, you hear lots of feedback on your work, and the recurring word that I am most proud of is “fresh”.

Convergence 40x30
Angels Calling 36x16 - PURCHASED

John Finch

fine art photographer

John has been a professional portrait, nature and fine art photographer for over 40 years. Having owned two successful portrait studios, John’s work now focuses on the fine art aspect of photography.  John’s involvement with the professional photography world has earned him many awards, publications and recognition throughout the years. He has been a competition print judge for both professional and non-professional photographers, a board member of the Kansas Professional Photographers Association, Past President of the Greater Wichita Professional Photographers Association, State Chairman of the National Certified Professionals Photography’s Association, Instructor for the National Photographers Certification course and an instructor at a Jr. College for photography and darkroom development.

Whether photographing in some forgotten corner of the world or sharing his knowledge with others in a classroom or in the field, John strives to foster in others his love and respect for the natural world, by touching the heart of the viewer with its beauty through his images and writings.

mike weinbrecht

silver point

A love for art is evident when you explore Mike’s intricate drawings, using a form of drawing by the early masters, Silver Point. This delicate drawing technique utilizes a silver wire fastened in a handle. The metal flakes off on the specially prepared surface. In time, the oxidizes resulting in a soft hue of color and special warmth.

Mike is President and Designer for Creative Signs, Inc., where his talent graces many businesses in the area. It is his awareness of the human condition that creates a subject’s realism using this detailed, seldom used artform.

At the start I used only Silver but started to incorporate various oxidation coloring effects such as brass, copper and aluminum. Experimenting further with color, I started using Pastel pencil that I would gently apply and remove which left a hint of color but more important allowed me to work the Metal Point back over the pastel creating a unique effect.

Richsha Driver

Philip Hershberger

encaustic on panel

Encaustic painting is an ancient but always somewhat obscure painting medium.  It's tools and methods are challenging in that the colors are fluid only for a few seconds before cooling and hardening on the panel. The color infused beeswax though can be applied in many overlapping layers to create a luminous affect not available with other painting mediums.

 “My painting tools are a double boiler, an electric skillet, a paint stripping heat gun, a nail taped to a stick, a utility knife blade and a bunch of big cheap house paint brushes. My medium is beeswax melted with damar varnish, and the colors are cakes of pigment, beeswax and damar resin.” - Philip                                                                                                                   

Space 48x48
Out-of-the-Box

Stacey Utech

fused glass

The daughter of an architect, I’ve loved all aspects of design since I was big enough to sit at my dad’s drafting table. The gratification of seeing a vision come to fruition is so exciting! In 1987 I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design at K-State. 

In 2008, I was introduced to a new passion… the art of fused glass. The ability to express myself through a ‘hands-on’ format is truly therapeutic for me, and in 2010 I started my art studio, Copper Snob. My fascination with Raku pottery lead to my early glass pieces being fabricated predominantly from highly textured, iridescent colors that, once fired, resembled Raku. The desire to try new things and stretch the limits has led me to incorporate bright colors, experiment with various techniques, and incorporate unusual mounts and display styles.

Vince Farnsworth

fine art panoramic landscape/astro photographer

Vince is a nature and landscape photographer based in Montrose, Colorado, a stone’s throw from the beautiful San Juan Mountains and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  Panoramas are his specialty.  The concept of the BluPano panoramic adapter arose from the need to capture the expansive vistas that presented themselves at every photo outing.   “I wanted to bring back the entire scene, not just small glimpses of it.  Smaller parts can always be extracted and expanded later.  I didn’t want to miss a thing, especially in rapidly changing light.”  Panoramic photography is the answer.

Since moving to Montrose, Vince has concentrated his efforts on photographing Black Canyon and the landscapes of southwestern Colorado and the desert southwest.  Most recently, he has been capturing images of the night sky above the landscape in panorama, a very challenging and rewarding pursuit.  “I’m looking for a different take on some of the more iconic locations.  Creative photography is all about seeing things in a unique way and conveying that vision to an audience.” 

Monumental Sky 22x24
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