College News

Shafer Gallery creates virtual world for local high schoolers for Vortex Day art show

picture of multiple faces merged
Best in Show was awarded to Samantha Haney of Larned for her piece titled "Two Faced."

May 17, 2022
Story by Joe Vinduska
Courtesy photos submitted

In early May, The Shafer Gallery brought back its popular “Virtual Vortex Day” exhibit and juried art show this year, which is sponsored by the Barton County Arts Council (BCAC) and is underwritten by the Bill J. McKown Endowment/Golden Belt Foundation and features artwork from high school students around the area.

The highlight of Vortex Day is always the juried art show, which this year consisted of an online exhibit of work by students from Central Plains, Ellinwood, Great Bend, Larned and Hoisington High Schools. The Vortex Exhibit is now available for viewing at and contains a gallery of all the student submissions, a video of the winners being announced, and judges’ comments.

Gallery Director Dave Barnes said the Virtual Vortex format was a great success last year and was excited to be able to provide extended access to the high school art students again this year.

“We were very gratified to hear that teachers were using the Virtual Vortex site as a teaching tool and discussion site in their classrooms.”

First Place, Caylee Rowan, “Euphoria,” Ellinwood
Second Place, Mary Dimitt, “Lava,” Ellinwood
Third Place, Mariah Sanders, “Pinkalicious,” St. John-Hudson
Honorable Mention, Colby Heinz, “Woody,” Ellinwood

First Place, Mackenzie Hacker, “Infinity,” St. John-Hudson
Second Place, Emma Brackbill, “Sad Knight,” Larned
Honorable Mention, Kimberly Pfortmiller, “Sunny the Birthday Boy,” Larned

First Place, Naomi Bowen, “Hanging Out,” Great Bend
Second Place, Mollie Steiner, “Melting Away,” Central Plains
Third Place, Hector Barrios, “Overgrown,” Great Bend

First Place, Jack Wikum, “Creature & Home Place,” Hoisington
Second Place, Garrett McAllister, “X-mas Jelly,” St. John-Hudson
Third Place, Penelope McCraw, “Butterfly,” Hoisington
Honorable Mention, Alexis Van Zandt, “Chuck,” Great Bend

First Place, Ashlyn Armstrong, “Scattered Brain,” Central Plains
Second Place, Mackenzie Hacker, “What’s Swimming Around that Head of Yours?” St. John-Hudson
Third Place, Jade Sanchez, Lateral Flow, Great Bend

First Place, Olivia Herrman, “Hidden,” Ellinwood
Second Place, Adam Baldyga, “Frog,” Hoisington
Third Place, Kynlie Crowdis, “Team Member,” Hoisington

First Place, Mariah Sanders, “Little Black Dress,” St. John-Hudson
Second Place, Aylice Clawson, “3D Pen Dog,” Larned
Third Place, Angel Ibarra, “Paddy Wagon,” St. John-Hudson
Honorable Mention, Alex Mater, “The Thinker,” Hoisington

Director’s Choice:
Khary Cross, “Blue Eyes on White,” Hoisington

Best of Show:
Samantha Haney, “Two Faced,” Larned