Shift Space in gear for part of school year

8:05:57 AM CDT - Thursday, September 21, 2006

By Shannon Littlejohn

If you haven’t experienced a Shift Space exhibit in its current home at 326 S. Commerce, you’ll have only this fall semester to get it done. The Commerce Street building that showcases student artwork is coming down for the new Sedgwick County Arena, said Robert Bubp, the School of Art and Design associate professor who helps administer Shift Space.

Life is not over for the grassroots project, however. Bubp said the school is working with an Old Town location that will need some renovating, probably by the hands of faculty and students. There is no commitment yet, but Bubp hopes to have something solid by the first of the year.

"We’ll exhibit through December, then things get dicey," said Bubp. "We’ll have some things in the spring at various venues."

Shift Space means a lot to the students, faculty and to the academic programs in art and design, he said.

"Increasingly, students exhibiting both at the undergraduate and graduate level is part of the curriculum," Bubp said. "Like if they’re taking music, they have to play."

The Friday, Sept. 29, opening exhibit is being organized, or curated, by graduate student Josh Unterman. "Kansas Mud" will feature a survey of local and regional ceramics work. Graduate students from Wichita State University and Kansas State University will be accompanied by students from Newman University and locally-based professional artists Conrad Snider, Dan Gigen and Arny Arensdorff.

"The exciting thing is that Josh is taking advantage of the space and doing what artists do — getting people together," said Bubp of Unterman. "We are also providing him with a support team (from the professional practices class). One of their requirements is to form a five-six person team and do everything connected with the event."

On promotions alone, the students normally learn that you can never do enough, Bubp said.

The Oct. 27 exhibit, curated by Annette LaZotte, will be a benefit show for the PALS rescue program showcasing art about animals that is also for sale.

The last opening on Friday, Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving, will be a food art show that comes with a bake sale.

Shift Space had a good run last year, said Bubp, opening its exhibits on Final Fridays to take advantage of local galleries’ openings. Its only rules are that submissions must be organized by, curated by, or represent the work of WSU students, faculty, and/or alumni. Any proposal is taken seriously for visual art, performances, mixed media, music and sound, interdisciplinary projects, poetry readings, community arts, experimental theater, or video or film screenings.

For more information or to send an e-mail submission, contact Bubp at 978-7704 or robert.bubp@wichita.edu.

WSU Shift Space will present "Kansas Mud 2006," an eclectic ceramic exhibition of teachers, students and professional artists within the state of Kansas who work in the ceramic medium, in an opening reception on Final Friday, Sept. 29. The exhibition will run through Friday, Oct. 14. During the exhibit period, Shift Space, at 326 S. Commerce St., will be open Thursdays 4-7 p.m., Fridays 4-9 p.m., and Saturdays noon-5 p.m. For more information about this show contact the School of Art and Design, 978-3555 or www.finearts.wichita.edu/art design or Josh Unterman, 683-6804. Also visit http://www.shiftspace.blogs.com/ for further information.

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