Ryniker-Morrison Gallery presents faculty art show, feature by Kajlea Richards

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IMG_0566Every two years Rocky Mountain College hosts a faculty art show in the Ryniker-Morrison Gallery. This year, the gallery features works by Mark Moak, Jim Baken, Rhett Moak, and Dave Shumway.

Dave Shumway is presenting his photography, Rhett Moak is presenting her ceramics, and Jim Baken is presenting his paintings and sculptures. Mark Moak is presenting his photography, jewelry, and even a four-minute and forty-two second video of the climax of totality loops during last year’s solar eclipse.

Shumway’s photography is highly based upon Montana wildlife. He stated, “Yellowstone National Park is what drew me to Montana and what has kept me here for more than a decade.” Shumway partakes in regular trips to the National Park and credits it for gifting him with “intimate encounters with wildlife.” He went on to explain that photographs such as the ones displayed in the gallery are products of “countless hours and thousands of miles hiked in wild and fragile places.” Shumway is passionate about sharing the connection between wild creatures and mankind, and even claims that “Looking into the eyes of truly wild animals, one can’t help but feel a connection.”

IMG_0587Rhett Moak’s focus is in ceramics, which she offers as a course in the spring. One of her pieces, titled “Crow Cups,” features five ceramic cups with black crows on them. They are made with white earthenware, underglaze, and glaze. She stated, “These pieces represent some of the recent approaches I am exploring in clay: functional, sculptural, hand built, and wheel thrown.” Moak speaks highly of her love for clay and ceramics work stating, “Clay is an amazing material. It invites exploration and the possibilities are endless. To work in clay is to dream dreams of vessels, sculptures, forms, colors, and shapes.”

Much of Jim Baken’s work focuses on placing sculptures in nontraditional areas. Baken stated, “off and on since 1998, I have exhibited both paintings and sculptures in remote areas void of people, yet teeming with wildlife.” Baken dubs it his “Art for Animals” project, which aims to promote respect for wildlife. Four of the paintings that are currently on display, called the “Campin’s Woman” were once displayed on wild trees on Lookout Mountain.

As for Mark Moak, the sun, the moon, and their alignments have always fascinated him; and this is shown through his work beginning in the 70’s and continuing into present day. He spoke about the inspiration he found in watching the eclipse, stating “It was one of the highlights of my life! This apparently was true for folks all over the IMG_0584world, who joined us in this mind-blowing experience; it was a ‘we are the world’ moment.”

The faculty art show opened on March 15 and will close on April 12. Ryniker-Morrison Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and it is closed on school holidays.

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