April 4, 2012
Fine arts students and faculty will take up temporary residence at 416 S. Commerce in Wichita on Friday, April 27, for their debut appearance at the Final Friday art crawl in Oldtown. Student artists will have a variety of works on display and for sale between 7 and 10 p.m. The Cowley gallery, like all Final Friday venues, is free and open to the public.
Students scheduled to contribute to the show include Alex Bowker, Michael Bowling, Craig Cropek, Henry Englemeyer, Abby Ferris, Marc Hunt, Kat Lowe, Maribel Ramirez, and Abby Showalter. Temporal Mechanics Union will play an eclectic program of traditional and experimental percussion on the hour.
Cowley art instructor Mark Flickinger is excited at the prospects of the event.
“What a great opportunity for Cowley students to get their foot into door of the Wichita art scene,” Flickinger said. “To be a part of a large art event, and see other artists, in a great location with lots of traffic, and lots of visibility—it’s awesome!”
Fellow art instructor Mike Fell agrees.
“This is another great opportunity for our students to have hands-on experience in a real world setting,” Fell said. “After viewing the space on Commerce Street, (the students) were very fired up, imagining their work on display.”
Wichita developer Chris Stong is opening his doors to Cowley for this event.
“The more people on Commerce on Final Friday the better it is,” Stong said.
The space is located next to Fiber Studio on Commerce Street, considered by many to be the premier destination for the monthly event. Patrons can walk to Commerce Street, or take The Q-Line trolley that tours the entire circuit of venues. There is free public parking under Kellogg at the south end of Commerce for those who drive.
Art galleries, museums, restaurants and retail shops stay open late and welcome visitors. Ann Keefer of Wichita Downtown Development has been instrumental in organizing Cowley’s participation. She hopes Cowley Fine Arts can become a permanent presence on the Final Friday scene.
“What better way to get their work before the public,” Keefer said. “It’s about learning the business of art.”
Alex Bowker, president of Cowley College’s Art Club, will be among the Cowley students to have their work on display and for sale. Bowker will have a few of his ink paintings and clay sculptures at the event.
“This is a really big event for all of us, I hope a lot of people show up that evening,” Bowker said.
Maribel Ramirez, who served as Cowley College Art Club president during the 2010-2011 academic year, plans to have oil paintings and drawings on display and for sale at the event.
“I don’t have the words to describe how excited I am,” Ramirez said. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to put ourselves out there in the Wichita community.”
More information about April’s Final Friday art crawl can be found at www.downtownwichita.org A map of all participating venues will be available at this web site prior to April 27.