Vernon Filley Art Museum, April 11-July 25
This story was featured in the May 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art May 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Beginning Saturday, April 11, and running through July 25, the Vernon Filley Art Museum presents a guest exhibition with renowned Santa Fe-based painter Roger Williams and sculptor Robin Laws. The duo, both represented by Joe Wade Fine Art, present a compilation of their extensive repertoires, each bringing dozens of works. “Typically when we curate an exhibition there is a distinct theme, but this show is more a showcase of the heights of their works,” says associate director of the museum Brittany Novotny.
Less than a year old, the museum is the fulfilled dream of Emily “Mimi” Filley and gives a home to her impressive art collection in the town of Pratt, KS, where she and her husband, Dr. Vernon Filley, spent their lives. Southwestern art represents a large selection of the work in the museum. “Mimi has a large portion of the collection devoted to Roger; he was one of her favorite artists,” Novotny explains. After years of the Filley’s friendship and patronage, Williams wanted to give back with this exhibits and he invited Laws to show her work, with each artist donating a portion of sale proceeds to the museum. “I asked Robin to participate because I thought some sculpture would enhance the presentation, and she graciously accepted the challenge, for which I am honored, grateful, and excited,” Williams says.
With Williams presenting nearly 30 of his oil paintings and Laws showing up to 40 of her bronze animal sculptures, the exhibit plays off the strengths of the museum’s permanent collection of southwestern art and the rural community that surrounds Pratt. “It’s about artists who use their mediums and talents to evoke what’s important to our region and the mission we’re trying to serve,” Novotny says. “Robin grew up with a deep appreciation and respect for the rural way of life, and that attachment to the land shows in her work. Roger brings a healthy mix of his works—primarily oil paintings and a few pastels—with a good mix of figurative and landscape [pieces]. We wanted to serve our region with things they find important, and that’s very much representative here.” —Joe Kovack
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