For twenty-three years, Gordon Sherman was a professor of printmaking in the Fort Hays State University Department of Art and Design. He was also a prolific and award-winning artist whose work was exhibited nationally and internationally. Following his retirement last December, we began working with him on his retrospective exhibition. Sadly, Gordon passed away early this summer, but with the support of his family and colleagues, we were able to carry out those plans and are honored to present this showcase of his creative legacy.
Below are gallery images, an album of individual works (installed & additional flatwork), "Absolut Kansas" project, an early video interview with Gordon, and scenes from the opening reception and Fall Art Walk.
ALONG FOR THE RIDE (1996)
colored pencil on slate (36”x29”)
by Gordon Sherman
The story of Absolut Art began in 1985, when Andy Warhol, the godfather of pop art, was commissioned to do a painting of the Absolut Vodka Bottle. When the painting appeared as an ad it was an incredible success and got immediate worldwide media attention. Absolut went from popular vodka to pop art and became an icon. Absolut Art had begun. The Absolut Art Collection now features 850 works by 550 artists and is housed at Spritmuseum in Stockholm.
The most ambitious art commissioning program was "Absolut Statehood", a campaign begun in the early 1990’s and spanning two years. It spotlighted one work from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, each done by a artist from that state. A different work appeared every other week in USA Today.
A limited edition of 300 lithographs of each work, signed and numbered by the artist, were sold for $300 each. Revenues from these sales went to the national US organization Design Industries Foundation for AIDS (DIFFA).
Demonstrating his iconic style, Absolut Kansas, the painting by Gordon Sherman was selected to represent our state. It is now included in that collection of 550 artists housed at the Spritmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Hays Arts Council has reproduced commemorative posters of “Absolut Kansas” to commemorate Gordon’s diverse array of national and international awards and recognitions.
18” x 24” poster ~ $30
24” x 36” poster ~ $45
* to purchase, visit or contact the Hays Arts Council
From 1990 to 2005, "Kansas Arts Today" was a program produced by Smoky Hills Public Television. During those 13 years, over 100 episodes highlighting the visual, performing, and literary arts and artists were featured in monthly half-hour programs, with each episode’s video culled from hours of footage, often over multiple sessions. In February of 1999, the featured artist was Gordon Sherman. At that time, Gordon had been an instructor in the Fort Hays State University Department of Art & Design for less than two years.