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K-State Today

October 4, 2011



Union Program Council hosts Flint Hills artist

By Audrey Taggart-Kagdis

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The K-State and Manhattan community are invited to experience Midwest weather in the form of contemporary pastels through Michael Duane’s “Skyscapes – Art in Pastel” in the William T. Kemper Art Gallery through Oct. 10.

Duane’s exhibit, sponsored by Union Program Council, mostly features the Kansas Flint Hills and its weather in all forms, including supercell thunderstorms, tornados and simple, far-off clouds. His methods include rubbing the pastels into the paper to create smooth shapes with less detail rather than building texture through individual strokes, resulting in a more contemporary feel. The artist will occasionally include man-made objects such as a winding road, an abandoned barn or even a cityscape to contrast the storm portrayed.  

Duane was born in Kansas City, Mo., and grew up in Overland Park where he now lives. He received a bachelor of fine arts and design from the University of Kansas in 1980. Among his many accomplishments, Duane has achieved Signature status in the Pastel Society of America, as well as both Signature and Master Pastelist status in the Mid America Pastel Society where he is a former vice president for programs and a current board member.

Over the years, Duane has created many kinds of art from caricatures in pen and ink to landscapes in watercolor and acrylic. Several years ago he began using pastels exclusively and now uses them to illustrate his long-lived fascination with weather.

"While Kansas remains the main inspiration for my art, I am expanding my scope by exploring other areas as well. My goals have always been to continue to push my art while maintaining the style I’ve created, as well as to show people the awesome power and beauty of Mother Nature,” Duane said.

The gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Located on the first floor of the K-State Student Union, the Kemper Gallery is free and open to the public. For a complete list of all Union Program Council activities, visit k-state.edu/upc or call the UPC office at 785-532-6571.