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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Drama and art: Mixing the media

  • The artists at the Main ARTery in Ulysses like to build their shows around a theme. But when Jeani Gustafson was thinking about a theme for their exhibit to accompany the Depot Theater Company's current production, inspiration didn't strike immediately.


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  •      The artists at the Main ARTery in Ulysses like to build their shows around a theme. But when Jeani Gustafson was thinking about a theme for their exhibit to accompany the Depot Theater Company's current production, inspiration didn't strike immediately.
         "I thought, 'Twelve Angry Men, that could be a little depressing," Gustafson said in a recent interview. "Then I thought 'Wait, will the actually be 12 actors in the show?' and the idea sort of came to me."
         The idea was for 12 of the artists to each create a portrait of one of the actors. The portraits were to be on matching canvases, making a unified set.
         So during an early rehearsal for the courtroom drama, Sherry Polkinghorn, who oversees scheduling of the gallery shows at the Depot, took digital photos of the men and sent them to Gustafson.
         The artists only had two weeks to complete the project, but the results are striking. Some of the 12 are traditional portraits, but many are interpretive. The portraits are in a variety of media, including oil, pastel, woodcut created with a scroll saw, charcoal, watercolor and a couple of collages.
         One artist included a title with her piece, so the group decided to brainstorm titles for all 12 portraits.
         "Some of us didn't really have a title in mind, so we sat together and came up with a title for each piece, which each artist got to approve. We tried to stay with the courtroom theme," Gustafson said.
         In addition to the portraits, other artists from the cooperative have contributed work.
         "We have 18 artists in our group, and we invited each to submit two or three pieces for the show, except the jewelers. The Depot has a lot of cases, so they could do more," Gustafson said.
         All the pieces, including the portraits, are for sale during the exhibit.
         "Twelve Angry Men" marks the Main ARTery's second exhibit for a Depot show. The cooperative also created an exhibit for last fall's production of "Nobody's Perfect."
         The cooperative's exhibit for that show was based on the theme of tightropes, reflecting the predicament in which the play's lead character finds himself, having written a book under an assumed female name.
         Main ARTery celebrated its fifth anniversary in August and was recently informed that it will be nominated for a Department of Commerce award for emerging and established businesses.
         "Twelve Angry Men" continues its run Thursday through Sunday this week, with the Sunday performance being a matinee. The show, which is a dinner theater, concludes with a Thursday through Saturday run the following weekend.
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