College News

Teacher of the year nominees visit Shafer Art Gallery

teachers doing an art project
Teacher of the Year Nominees work on an art project in The Shafer Gallery lastTuesday on the Barton Campus.

January 17, 2023
Story by Joe Vinduska
Photos by Courtney Liebl

The Shafer Art Gallery staff hosted a fun-filled afternoon for the Kansas State Department of Education Teacher of the Year nominees last Tuesday in the Gallery consisting of a personalized tour and an art project activity.

Gallery Director Dave Barnes said he was excited to show them some of the educational aspects of the Shafer Gallery. Specifically, the Glen and Elaine Mull Art Classroom Outreach Art Cart program, which allows Barnes and Associate Director Alyssa Bliven to travel to local schools to facilitate hands-on art learning in a variety of ways. The Art Cart was created using a generous gift from the Glen and Elaine Mull Family Donor Advised Fund through Golden Belt Community Foundation in 2016.

“It is important that we connect with and honor our educators and make sure they know that the gallery and art centers in general are a resource for their students and curriculum that should not be overlooked, he said. “In accordance with our vision goals, promoting and supporting art awareness and providing arts education is key to the Shafer Gallery being a portal connecting Barton Community College with our community. We think of ourselves as more than a static repository of works of art but also as a living exploratory space where our visitors can experience both beautiful art and grow in understanding.”

Associate Gallery Director Alyssa Bliven said the main goal of the program is to inspire art-making and creativity through a mini-gallery experience and show students what professional artwork looks like, how it is made, and how it functions as art. Students are able to see what is going on at the Shafer gallery without leaving their classroom, and then engage in age-appropriate hands-on art-making activities related to the exhibit.

“At the Shafer, we are all about education and what better way to do that than connecting with some of the best teachers in the area,” she said. “It was such an honor to share with them what I do with the Glen and Elaine Mull Art Cart and I am looking forward to visiting some of these teachers' classrooms in the near future.”

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.