Guest presenter at Sterling College

While on my way to Kansas last month my GPS decided to have a complete mental break down. Its probably never a good idea to rely solely on a navigation system, especially one as incompetent as mine. However, despite an extra hour of travel time, being diverted through the Flint Hills was a pleasant experience. Watching a shifting myriad of earth tones roll across the landscape made me feel as though I was driving through one of Harvey Dunn’s epic prairie paintings. While the sacred feel of the Kansas landscape was a surprise, its vast and open terrain was not. Regardless of its rural reputation there is a refreshing educational oasis among those remote hills.

A few months ago I was graciously invited to be a guest presenter at Sterling College and offered a solo exhibit at their art department. The beautiful scenery I observed on the drive in was only complemented by the Sterling campus, especially Cooper Hall, a magnificent stone structure that not only served as my room and board for two days, but also, the signature building on campus. Over the course of those two days I had a wonderful time getting to know the faculty and students in and around the art building. Sterling brings veteran educator David Harmon and professional illustrator Daniel Swartz to the Art and Design program. While the department is in its early stages of development both Harmon and Swartz are committed teachers that offer a solid curriculum. It is a program that is sure to expand and produce proficient artists.

I had a full schedule of lectures, painting demonstrations and student critiques over the course of my stay, but despite the fast paced schedule I felt extremely encouraged by the many private conversations I had with both students and faculty. What I discovered, after hearing the testimonies from students and community members, is that there is a deep yet dormant passion for the arts in Sterling. I am excited to see how this passion evolves and transforms the lives of those who are bold enough to embrace their passion. I urge them to continue with courage.

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