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Marion Artist Displays Work in Delmar Riney Gallery

03 September 2014

The September exhibit in the Pratt Community College Delmar Riney Art Gallery features the works of Sheri Lauren Schmidt of Marion, Kan. Schmidt’s work encompasses acrylic, watercolor, digital photography, pen, pencil, pastels in a unique combination of both large canvases and murals to small-scale illustrations. The collection on display is modeled after a previous exhibition called Whimsy and Wise, which juxtaposed works of playful lights with serious darks. 
 
“I try to keep myself centered and focused in what I’m trying to express, whether it be silly or something more grim,” said Schmidt of her art. “In some ways it’s easier to focus in on the darker pieces of art, because it can be easier to access those emotions of anger or hopelessness. It’s harder to make yourself feel happy emotions and channel that in a direct manner.”
 
Schmidt says that channeling those emotions and examining the motives behind them is the most important element in creating good art.

“One of the most important things for me as an artist is to make sure my heart is in the right place. If you’re not moving in a pure way, you can end up with a piece that is technically excellent, but leaves you cold.”
 
When an artist is able to create art that clearly expresses the desired emotions, she explains, it often produces strong reactions in the viewer.

“I get a wide range of feedback on my work. Sometimes people do comment negatively; even the expression on a subject’s face can upset a viewer and remind them of dark places in their own lives. You have to have thick skin as an artist. Other people find my darker pieces to be their favorite; one man created a whole narrative about a certain painting that initially caught me by surprise. It wasn't my intent when I painted it, but he was able to fully articulate the emotion I was feeling better than even I could at the time, and that was special to me.”
 
“It doesn’t matter what you decide to do in life, most people have some level of the artistic in them,” said Schmidt. “Everyone is an art appreciator.”
 
Schmidt graduated cum laude with a major in fine arts and minor in English from McPherson College. Other career pursuits include singing in a duet, graphic art, poetry and book illustrations.
 
The Delmar Riney Art Gallery is open Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., or by appointment. For more information about the gallery or to make an appointment, please call (620) 450-2184. If you would like to be considered as a “Featured Artist of the Month” in the Delmar Riney gallery, send your name, contact information and a brief description of your artwork to Pratt Community College, Vice President of Students/EM, 348 NE SR 61, Pratt KS 67124 or lisam@prattcc.edu.

Schmidt is pictured above with "Bondage Broken" on the left and "Self" on the right.

To learn more about Schmidt, visit her website: http://sherilaurenschmidt.artistwebsites.com/

Find her single "Roots" on YouTube, Amazon, Spotify and iTunes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxq9pil15P8