Recognizing artists

Butler Community College art instructors celebrated their students Friday evening during the reception for the annual Student Art Exhibit at the college.
“We are terribly impressed with the kids every year when we put this together,” said John Oehm, Butler art instructor and gallery curator.
The students pick two pieces of art from each class and submit it for the show. Then a guest judge picks those pieces to hang in the gallery, with the rest being displayed in the art department.
Oehm thanked the students who made the work, as well as those who helped hang the show for their efforts.
Oehm was joined in recognizing the students by art instructor Valerie Haring.
“I tell people all the time Butler’s art department is the best place to work,” she said. “I am thankful you sent your kids to Butler because you have blessed me to be able to work with a bunch of wonderful people.”
Haring went on to talk about the process of selecting the show. The guest judge was Amanda Pfister of Wichita.
“Amanda looked at hundreds of works of art,” Haring said. “Any judge that comes to Butler, it’s a really daunting task.”
Before they got into the judge’s awards, they presented five student choice awards, which went to Sarah Greuel, Megan Hawley, Kelsey Pracht, Josh Johnico and Rachel Hufman.
In addition, each of the instructors, Haring, Oehm and Roger Matthews, select students for awards.
Haring presented, Matthews’ award, since he was unable to attend. Matthews selected Ari Rumery.
“This was really difficult,” said Oehm. “There have to be so many kids who deserve awards.”
Oehm selected Garrett Swearingen for his award.
“I think Garrett is terrifically inventive as an artist,” he said.
Haring also announced her choice.
“We have so many students that work in the art department behind the scenes,” she said.
She said students will be in the studio after hours and on weekends.
“She’s someone I’ve seen a lot of growth in and a lot of dedication,” Haring said, announcing the winner of her award as Shai Winzer.
Next, the judge’s awards were presented.
“This was not an easy task,” Pfister said. “There was an overwhelming amount of work in here, but it was all amazing. I was truly impressed.”
The Juror’s Choice Award went to Chelsea  Hamlin.
In three-dimensional work, third place went to Barbara Barthelette, second place to Cara Leverington and first place to Jerica Alvarez. In two-dimension work, third place was Zach Ledbetter, second went to Misty Walton and first was Ryun Lawrence. Best in Show went to Moose Shoemaker.
The show will remain on display through May 10, with a student art sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 13 in the gallery.
Julie Clements can be reached at