by Nicole Thibodeau & Shannon Trevethan
“Femme Fatale, is about trying something new. This show has allowed us to have voices outside of the world of plein air painting. Exploration and experimentation have always been at the forefront of what inspires us. Collaborating for this show has been an exciting journey. From angel wings to termite-carved wood we are discovering and finding new combinations of objects to give voice to our creativity. Found objects are an important way to communicate while respecting our place in the natural world. The materials we use are often discarded in abandoned lots, found in the trash, in thrift stores, or discovered flattened in the street. We use these items as puzzle pieces, which form conversations with our works of art.
What does the Femme Fatale say? She lures men with her darkness and has power in times when no other woman would. What would she say? Throughout history, women have challenged patriarchal authority. Perhaps we are challenging the emphasis on traditional materials as being the most elevated way to engage in artistic dialogs. Perhaps we are challenging the stringent voice within our minds. Perhaps we are challenging the idea of "serious art."”
Nicole Thibodeau currently lives in Hays and grew up in Taos, New Mexico. She thinks Baba Yaga is the most compelling fairy tale witch. She is very fond of the sound of birds singing and finds old bricks to be visually appealing. She likes books a lot, which is fortunate as she works at the Hays Public Library. She is very grateful for the support of friends and family on her creative journey. Currently, her art is featured at ArtSpace Gallery (Marquette, KS), and online at www.nicolethibodeau.com and on Instagram @creativelexicon.
Shannon Trevethan lives in Russell, Kansas. For almost her entire life she has said she was going to go join the circus. Although she has had myriad of jobs through the years, none of them have been in a circus. These days Shannon is settled into her careers as an artist and art center director at the Deines Cultural Center. With the help and encouragement from her wonderful, extraordinary friends she is creating her own circus of found objects and curiosities
collage and assemblage works by Cal Mahin
"Philosophical, symbolism and social statements are the dominant subjects in my current works. The pieces in this show are very narrative with some humor finding its way into the composition. The viewer must be engaged to find the story. The title maybe a very small part of the composition. Collecting found papers and objects, altering paper with a variety of media and making hand-formed papers and forms is a very important part of my art making. The “hunt” for the media needed to make art and explore a theme in my works is also part of my creative process. Most of the works begin without a preconceived idea."
Collage and assemblage artist Cal Mahin resides in Hays, Kansas. He holds a B.A. degree in education from the University of Nebraska in Kearney and an M.S. degree in collage and montage from Fort Hays State University. He is a retired art instructor from Colby middle and high schools. He also taught secondary art from 1971 to 1973 for the Department of Defense in Nuremberg, Germany; as well as spending 26 summers teaching adult art workshops for the Creative Arts Festival at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. After he retired from Colby Public Schools, he continued as part-time art instructor at Colby Community College for 11 years. Cal has exhibited his works in one-man shows in Kansas, Nebraska and New Mexico. Many of his works are in private collections, foundations, and museum collections.
by Matthew Miller
A frequent plein air painter, Matt currently lives and works in Hays, Kansas.
He graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, emphasis painting, in 2013, and previously earned a B.A. History of Art degree from the University of Kansas.
“As I roam through different regions of Kansas, my eyes are drawn out and upward toward the wind farms that are now a permanent fixture of the landscape. Much like turbines harnessing the wind’s power, my paintings capture the shifting and surging impulses of nature, and have become for me a visual record of my own wandering spirit. My current goal is to represent our everyday relationships with light and the landscape through creative equilibrium of color.
‘Cloudfarm’, which I have exhibited previously in Wichita and Garden City, is made up of plein-air landscape paintings and larger studio works. Building upon the idea of capturing the energy of the wind and the clouds, the newest additions to the show are an attempt to farm some of the photographic reference I have saved over the last several years.”