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art professor to present paintings in Tulsa, Wichita exhibits

A professor paints on canvas.
Published: Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Foster chosen as one of four artists from Kansas for regional exhibit

El DORADO, Kan. – Butler’s art faculty are known to exhibit their work around the region and across the nation. They continually perform professionally in and out of the classroom, and it doesn’t stop with art professor, Rachel Foster.

“We take our professional lives pretty seriously,” said Foster.

The art faculty have very close relationships with one another, according to Foster.

“We call ourselves the dream team,” said Foster. “We are always supportive of our art practices.”

One of Foster’s outside professional enjoyments is involvement with Harvester Arts of Wichita. This group helps bring in artists from around the country to show their work at various venues.

Having connections with Harvester Arts gave Foster the opportunity to submit for the Focus exhibition through the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition is part of a regional artist exchange, collecting professional artists from around the area to display their work in high quality exhibits.

For the coalition’s new exhibit, Foster applied with a proposal and portfolio, and was later interviewed by Chief Curator, Heather Pesanti, of The Contemporary Austin – an art museum in Austin, Texas.

Only four from each state were selected to receive an honorarium and display solely new work in the Concept exhibition at ahha in Tulsa, Oklahoma and in the Focus exhibition at Harvester Arts in Wichita.

Foster’s new work will highlight her experiences of living in the rural Kansas region. She will showcase life on a small farm with her five children in what she calls an “honest portrayal of a family.”

Foster started at Butler as an adjunct in 2015 and became a full-time instructor in 2017. She grew up in Manhattan, earned her bachelor’s degree at Kansas State University and completed her master’s degree at Wichita State University.

Foster said her department is always willing to accommodate outside work and conferences that encompass the arts. She added that her fellow faculty members view each other’s work at various exhibits.

“We are always supportive of our art practices,” said Foster.

“Now that I’m working for Butler, I’m part of a team, and really proud to represent Butler,” said Foster. “It’s not about individual work; we want to project the face of Butler.”

Foster thinks it’s important for her and her faculty coworkers to keep active in the professional world.

“Students see us use our degree every day, not just with teaching, but getting out in the community,” Foster said.

To view Foster’s work, go to rachelfoster77.com, or catch her new pieces at the ahha Tulsa exhibition on February 7 through March 22 or at the Harvester Arts Wichita exhibition on May 1 through June 15. Both venues hold an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. on the first day of their exhibit. For more information, go to ovac-ok.org/concept.