College News

Shafer Art Gallery to host reception for new exhibit

painting of a man about to eat a grasshopper
"Dare You," by Rebel Mahieu.

June 27, 2022
Story by Joe Vinduska
Courtesy Photos submitted

The Shafer Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibit will feature works from emerging artist Rebel Mahieu & the late Steve Dudek, which will be kicked off with an opening reception July 8 at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will enjoy refreshments as well an artist talk from Mahieu.  The exhibit will be on display through Aug. 13.

Shafer Gallery Director Dave Barnes said Rebel is a 15-year veteran faculty member in the Art Department at Colby Community College.

“She has a very bold, very tactile approach to image making,” he said.  “In fact, I would call her art making fearless. Her pieces bridge the gap between 2D and 3D and often leap off the wall at you. Her art is full of an infectious energy. Rebel hasn’t shown much in our area and we are proud to introduce a new artist to our visitors.”

Mahieu was born in Beloit in 1972 and grew up on a farm north of Glen Elder.  She received an associate of arts degree from Cloud County Community College, studied commercial design at Kansas State University, and received a bachelor of arts degree in art education with an emphasis in printmaking from Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in 1995. In 2012, she received a master of liberal studies degree in sculpture from FHSU.

Steve Dudek is a well-known artist and educator from Barton who passed away in January of 2019.

“Steve was a painting instructor here for 40 years and one of the most beloved painters of nature in the mid-west,” he said. “A series of large watercolors were recently uncovered that had not been exhibited in our area. We are very proud and happy to have permission to share these amazing works with the Barton community. Steve once wrote, ‘Nature’s beauty, power, uniqueness and danger have always intrigued me. My work has been solely concerned with those issues. Even though my works are realistic… by emphasizing rhythmic patterns, sparkling colors and dynamic forms I can show how I feel. I am using reality as a starting point to let me express myself’ and I always thought that quote was so profound and beautiful and really described the type of person Steve was.”

There will also be a special memorial reception celebrating Steve Dudek’s life and work on August 5, with more details available in the coming weeks.

The Shafer Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is always free. For more information, contact Barnes at or (620) 792-9342.