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Art Review

Limitations Are Dashed In 'The Artist Project'

The late artist Robert Smithson said that "Cultural confinement takes place when a curator imposes his or her own limits on an art exhibition, rather than asking an artist to set his or her own limits."

Limitations are dashed in the Wichita Art Museum's latest exhibit, The Artist Project. WAM director Dr. Patricia McDonnell designed this show by inviting 50 artists featured in writer Sondra Langel's new book Wichita Artists In Their Studios to choose one piece from the museum vault and write their personal feelings about their chosen piece.

What the viewer enjoys are 50 works, most of which are seldom, if ever, displayed, accompanied by artist-written statements that are unique, insightful, and exciting to read. The bold and challenging array of works ranges from paintings and drawings to sculpture, clay, light displays, and even a quilt. The unusual collection works in grand harmony, with much deserved applause going to the museum's preparator.

My favorite pieces in the exhibition are a phenomenal bronze sculpture chosen by Wichita artist Trish Van Osdel, a spare, wooden music box chosen by Jana Erwin Durfee, and a color mono-type on paper chosen by Kevin Kelly.

This must-see exhibition runs through July 9.