Shafer Art Gallery

About the L. E. "Gus" and Eva Shafer Memorial Art Gallery

The L.E. "Gus" and Eva Shafer Memorial Gallery has been called the "Gem of the Campus". Located in the Fine Arts building, the Shafer Gallery displays significant works by Gus Shafer, objects from Barton's growing permanent collection, and a rotating series of exhibitions from regional and national artists. Learn more about upcoming exhibits and events! Check out the Shafer Gallery's Flickr collection to view images of past exhibits.

Current Exhibit
Winter Light by Dr. Paul Rudy

Anomalous Sites: Photography by Dr. Paul Rudy

June 21- August 1

About the Exhibit
By Gallery Director Dave Barnes

The photography of Dr. Paul Rudy confronts the Shafer Gallery visitor with images that diverge from our usual expectations of what a photograph can or should be. In a theory known as the Harmony of the Spheres, the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras proposed that the Sun, Moon and planets create a harmonic chord based upon the relationship of their orbital spins. This cosmic hum permeates everything and since it is the background noise of all nature, like white noise we tuned it out and can't hear it. As in his environmental soundscapes and musical compositions Rudy's photographs challenge us to see an entirely obvious but rarely contemplated reality. The glint of light on a frozen camera lens or the patterning of water droplets form the photographers breath are considerd mistakes at best, hardly even worth acknowledging. But what if we looked really closely at them, what if we listened very closely to the environmental sounds around us? Would we see and hear a realm of luminous experience that lays always within our reach but is rarely experienced? The photographs of Dr. Paul Rudy are like a gateway into the transcendence that lays right in front of our eyes. Rudy's photos take me to a beautiful cosmic place where scale and time have no meaning. They remind me a of a quote by the romantic artist mystic William Blake,

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour." 

On July 19th at 6:30 pm at the Shafer we will be privileged to experience a live performance by Rudy and James Pisano.What immediately struck me about the photography and music of Rudy is that they are totally harmonious with each other. Rudy's photographs could be made into album covers for his musical compositions. He has a focused and consistent vision which is unique and identifiable even as it crosses from expressive medium to medium. This is the hallmark of a truly visionary artist. Check out his music on his website
Paul Rudy (b. 1962) is a Rome Prize (2010), Guggenheim (2008), Fulbright (1997) and Wurlitzer Foundation (2007 and 2009) Fellow. He teaches at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory where he received the 2008 Kauffman Award for Artistic Excellence.

(Image: Winter Light by Dr. Paul Rudy)