State Fair Community College art students will have their work on exhibit through May 12 in an annual show that opened Thursday.

The SFCC Student Art Exhibition opened Thursday night with an artist reception and announcement of awards. It was juried by Daum Museum of Contemporary Art Exhibition Coordinator and Registrar Matt Rahner.

SFCC Art Instructor Don Luper said Thursday morning there are close to 84 pieces in the show that includes more three-dimensional work than in previous years. He attributes fewer two-dimensional work due to the retirement of art instructor Paul Allen last year.

“I think the biggest difference is that Paul is not here anymore,” he said. “His influence is not as prevalent as in years before, unfortunately. But, that is all part of change. He had such an influence on 2D work so I kind of compensated by creating more 3D work.”

Daum Museum of Contemporary Art Director and Curator Thomas Piche’ Jr., who coordinates the hanging of the show, said he was pleased with the additional 3D work.

“I was excited to see so much three-dimensional work,” he said. “It sort of changes the look of the show. I thought some of the most promising efforts were in that area.”

Piche’ said he thought the glass art program at the college has also expanded well. He noted that two pieces, a cast glass wall hanging by Jordan Quick and a glass-and-wood sculpture of an octopus by Deaven Kaiser, “showed a whole new direction” for the program.

“It’s just becoming more and more ambitious,” he said. “That’s exciting to see.”

Luper said several students were going to continue their art studies after graduating from SFCC. Mariya Slipych, who has two steel, acrylic and glass pieces in the show recently visited the Kansas City Art Institute.  

“Her goal is to go there in the spring of 2020,” Luper said. “And, Brooke Jackson, she’s heading to the University of Missouri in about a year for interior design.”

Luper said he was also impressed with the wood work of Stafford Dhority, who will be one of the artists-in-residence at the Missouri State Fair this year. This August, Dhority will demonstrate his wood knife-making along with pyrography — the art of decorating wood with burn marks.

SFCC art student Cammie Lasswell was busy Thursday morning adding name tags to exhibit artwork. She has two pieces in the show, a charcoal on paper and an oil pastel on sheetrock. She plans to continue in graphic design at the University of Central Missouri when she graduates this May. Lasswell said she is new to art but enjoys it.

“I haven’t taken art classes since sixth grade, before this year,” she said. “Now, I like being able to make something that someone might enjoy and getting compliments on it. I’m not used to having something that people can appreciate, I’ve always stayed in the background.”

Some of Luper’s students are non-traditional, such as Stanley Potts, 80, who has a large wooden train in the show and Roy Cook, 82, who submitted a glass alligator sculpture.

“I enjoy having them in class, it’s a lot of fun,” Luper said. “Their work ethic is great and you hope it rubs off on the younger students, and sometimes I think it does. They have such an enthusiasm about it, they have experienced life, and I think they have an appreciation for what we are doing.”

Many of the students have their artwork for sale and one piece is always purchased by SFCC President Joanna Anderson for the college’s art collection. The purchased piece will be displayed on one of the SFCC campuses.

The SFCC Student Art Exhibition will remain up until May 12 and can be viewed in the Goddard Gallery and hallways of the Stauffacher Fine Arts Building. The Daum Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call 660-530-5888 or visit

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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