Since I am the creator and caretaker of the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group, I am often asked which Final Friday events I recommend attending. I'll start by saying that I am NOT a Final Friday expert, and that my recommendations are based on my own personal preferences and tastes. I want to say, "go to all of them", but that would be an impossible task. Having too many awesome Final Friday events is a good problem to have.

Every month I will shine a spotlight on 3 or 4 exhibitions that I recommend seeing. These are the exhibitions that I am most excited to see myself. I should also note that I haven't seen any of these exhibitions yet. My recommendations are based on previous works by the artists or on promotional materials released by the artist or gallery. I encourage all of you to join the Wichita Art Scene Facebook Group to see the full list of Final Friday events happening in Wichita, Kansas.

- Dustin Parker


Judy Dove
60 Year Retrospective

Tessera Fine Art Gallery
412 E Douglas, Suite C

Final Friday, June 30th
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Judy Dove has always been one of my favorite artists at Gallery XII. I’ve always felt a deep connection to her work and always greatly admired her mastery of color, texture and composition. I especially love the gritty textures and earthy colors of her collage paintings. Her work is always evolving and changing. After 60+ years of creating art, she is still experimenting and exploring new techniques and ideas. 

Judy has been a member of several arts organizations including, the National League of American Pen Women, Wichita Women Artists and the Artists Guild of Wichita. She is currently a member of the Gallery XII Artist’s Cooperative and frequently exhibits her work at Tessera Fine Art Gallery. 

Tessera Fine Art Gallery is hosting a retrospective of Judy Dove’s incredible work called “Judy Dove - 60 Years Retrospective.” The exhibition will feature work Judy created when she was a student at Pittsburg State University in the ‘60s as well as work she created while earning her MFA in Printmaking at Wichita State University in the ’70s. This exhibition will be a very special treat because it provides a rare opportunity to see the full evolutionary path of an incredible artist. 

Artist Q&A with Judy Dove
How has putting together a retrospective exhibition of your past work influenced your more recent work?
My husband suggested I do the retrospective. He wanted me to see how much I have done over the years and the many exhibits I have been in. Because of age who knows how much longer I can work. I do intend to work until I drop. I don't plan to drop anytime soon. No influence on or for work I plan to do in the future. I have a featured artist show at Gallery XII July 2018 and at this time plan to go back to highly textured and large work. 

Where do you go to collect collage materials? 
I find collage material everywhere. Picking plant material and drying them, picking up things off the street, pulling pieces of posters off walls and sometimes eBay. The latest material I used was a piece of newspaper that I found while on a morning walk, it'd been rained on and run over for many days. Inspiration comes from whatever is around me.

How has being a member of Gallery XII influenced your work? 
Being a member of Gallery XII gives me one reason to keep producing artwork and I can keep in touch with other artists. The influence is being with other artists and sharing what creating means to each of us.

Can you explain your creative process? 
Basically I just do. I think about images and what to do or how to go about it. With a good grounding in the elements and principles of design I can critic my own work.

What has been inspiring you lately?
I am a person who likes the processes used to create art. There was a new process using National Geographic magazines and citrasol to bleed the inks. Going online gave me the how to. My latest collages use these papers.

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
When I had a studio outside the home I listened to Josh Groban (old lady music). Working at home there is enough going on that I can just filter it out.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
When traveling I always go to art museums and art galleries. I sometimes find that my art isn't much different than other artists. I actually find this encouraging. Seeing the exhibit of the Hudson River painters at the Wichita Art Museum was a jump start.


Modern Venus: The Female Perspective

Finishing School for Modern Women
340 S Main St

Final Friday, June 30th
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Featured artists: Hannah Beam, Heather Byers, Melanie Cloud, Lena Dreher-Heflin, Lindsey Ernst, Denise Grays, Alisha Gridley, Barbara Haynes, Rachel Hermes, ONOH, Kira Hutchens, Trishelle Jeffery, Casey Joy, Marlys Keenan, Jordan Kirtley, Levering Lewis, Jenny Long, Katie Moore, Jessica Nellis, Autumn Noire, Molly Noon, Amanda Pfister, Zoe Porazka, Whitney Powell, Angela Rangel, Karen Scroggins, Carolynn Shultz, Thomas Joanna, Michelle Tripoli, Stacy Walker, Tasha Wentling, and Tyleciea Zachry.

This month The Finishing School for Modern Women has jumped into the Final Friday fray by hosting an all-female juried art exhibition titled Modern Venus: The Female Perspective. The exhibition was curated by Jamie Ford and Emily Loy and features an impressive collection of work by 32 local and regional artists. The Finishing School for Modern Women, founded by Jill D. Miller, offers a variety of classes designed to help women learn professional and personal skills such as negotiation techniques, public speaking, money management, time management, goal setting and other important skills that are essential to being happy and successful in the modern world. The Finishing School for Modern Women seems like the perfect place to host an art exhibit that gives women a platform to share their stories and talents. I hope this is the first of many shows hosted by The Finishing School for Modern Women. 

Artist Q&A with Curators Jamie Ford and Emily Loy
What inspired you to curate an all-female juried show and how were the artists selected? 
After the women's March, I had been looking for a way to channel that energy into more women's and minority rights advocacy. I’m really inspired by the Guerilla Girls and their work for equality in the arts community internationally. I wanted to emulate that by supporting and celebrating female voices in the art community. We have so many talented artists here in Wichita, so I knew we would have plenty of great work to choose from. 

Emily: I have always been interested in the academic approach to art. Being that my background is within the fields of art history and anthropology, I have discovered there are many theories within these interdisciplinary fields that touch on the topic of gender in relation to art. This show was a way to further explore and navigate through those theories to possibly create a dialogue from female artist to the viewer.

Jamie: It was important to us not to require a certain theme or expectation of the submitted works. We wanted to see what kinds of art female artists were doing and if there were any common themes or patterns that might emerge. The chosen pieces were so introspective and thoughtful. They provide a strong insight into women’s points of view. 

Modern Venus: The Female Perspective is the first exhibition that the Finishing School for Modern Women has ever hosted, What influenced your decision to host the show at Finishing School for Modern Women rather than an established art gallery? 
Jamie: I work part time at the Finishing School and Headmistress, Jill Miller, has been talking about hosting art shows for a while.
When Emily and I were brainstorming for the show, we had been talking galleries, but it just kind of occurred to us, what better place to share women's stories than a place for and by women. 

Emily: I have been friends with Jamie for a number of years now and she has always been a really strong and inspiring female figure and artist in my life. I could not have brainstormed this exhibition idea with a more perfect female artist. The Finishing School was the perfect fit. Not only does Jamie work there but, Jill is also a powerful female figure in Wichita. Therefore, the location was a no-brainer really.

Do you plan to curate more shows in the future? 
Emily: I do hope that I can curate many other exhibitions in the future. This falls right into my line of work and future career endeavors. It only makes sense to continue to work towards something you are passionate about.

Jamie: Definitely! I think there are many more projects for the future! And while I’ve really enjoyed curating and giving a platform to others, I am, first and foremost, a creator and I look forward to showing more of my own work as well.  

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
We’ll, we came up with the idea for the show at Espresso To Go Go. 

Emily: We love any place that serves coffee and provides the right atmosphere to chat and explore ideas. Espresso To Go Go really fit the bill for the brainstorming session we had. It was peaceful and had plenty of coffee. 

Jamie: Then we had a celebratory beer after the reception at Central Standard. Definitely two of my favorite places in town! 

What do you enjoy the most about the Wichita Art community and how do you think it can improve?
The Wichita Art community is its own little world. It is growing every day and becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Which is exactly what we want! The artists in Wichita are strong together and support each other; it is amazing really how connected everyone is to one another. There is always room for improvement, which I feel most people find to be a type of negative. But, no one is perfect and the beauty of a community such as this is that any sort of change or improvement can help to create a dialogue that this art world can run with.

Jamie: I always tell people that Wichita has a lot of room for people's great ideas. If you're inspired by something you've seen in a bigger city, chances are Wichita is just waiting for you to create something like it, most likely with little to no competition. In the past few years, I've seen many new businesses and organizations, like the Finishing School for Modern Women, who have taken advantage of this potential which makes me feel proud to live here. At times I feel that the art community can get a little cliquey which might alienate newcomers. It’s worth reminding ourselves that we can always benefit from engaging and collaborating with those outside of our inner circle.

Artist’s Statements

Denise Grays.jpg

Denise Grays
Monument Rocks in Red

"Kansas has many diverse and beautiful landscapes, but you must make the trek out of the city, off the interstate to find them.  I wanted to show that Kansas is a place like no other, like another world, in a good way. I decided to shoot Monument Rocks on 35mm redscale film to give it a 'different planet' feel. Captured as the sun was setting, the light through the opening made me feel hopeful about what's next for me and for my home state."

Tasha Wentling
Adolescent Treasures

"I am interested in how one's concept of "treasure" changes over time. “Adolescent Treasures" is inspired by objects I treasured as a child. Interesting rocks and trinkets always seemed to make their way into a drawer in my nightstand."

Heather Byers


Blank Page

"For me, this piece is just that deep breath before starting something new. I don't create with much pageantry. There's no magic in getting started, just a comfortable spot and some basic tools."

Autumn Noire

"My drawings are representations of my personal struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. They are intended to convey the experiences of anxiety, depression, and unhealthy coping techniques that being a survivor of abuse has left me with."

Karen Scroggins
First Impression of Colorado 1985 Estes park, Trailridge


"This mixed media artwork is about my memory of seeing mountains for the first time. I wanted to reflect on the intense color and beautiful shapes that the mountains and flowers created. The process for this artwork is built on different materials creating layers, using a sander to remove or partially remove materials to create texture and dimension, layers were manipulated to create a unified image. My hope for this mixed media piece is that in transports the viewer to view the world with fresh vision and examine ideas in a nonlinear form."

Carolynn Shultz.jpg

Carolynn Shultz
Lost in Thought

"I was inspired to create melted wax art initially by my children doing a craft project. But I saw potential to create a new form of art and wax is an amazing and very technical medium to work in this way. In all my pieces I try to convey movement and emotion and for “Lost in Thought” I was inspired by an old woman standing by a road."

Jordan Kirtley
Face with a View

"My works are constructed with paper and found objects inside cigar boxes. I see them as dioramas, and more explicitly as receptacles for my intimate thoughts and memories. Real places and experiences are embellished with my personal neuroses, and contained in a space that's easily shared. I'm saying, "Here, have a look inside my brain, and close the door when you're done."

Casey Joy
Bringing A Healing

"Bringing A Healing" was inspired by the unique performance of Overtone singer Natascha Nikeprelevic. I saw a video of her perfoming and was mesmorized by the way her hands moved as well as her strangely beautiful voice. I had never heard or seen anything like what she had done before and there was something very healing about it all. I felt like that is what she was trying to do in her performance, bring a healing. Normally I paint from my dreams, but I knew I had to paint her. Each piece I do is like a painting from the diary of my mind. It heals me. It lifts burdens I wouldn't know how to lift any other way. It is my hope that my paintings inspire others and bring them a sense of healing as well."

Michella Tripoli

"When I created "Raven", I wanted her to be as enchanting as she was eerie. She entices the viewer with her delicate, feminine features, but also looks like she could steal the soul of those who dare to gaze into her eyes for too long. She perfectly personifies the dark, mysterious, yet uniquely beautiful raven."


Mika Holtzinger: The Garden

The Fiber Studio
418 S. Commerce St

Final Friday, June 30th
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Mika Holtzinger’s brightly colored paintings are a celebration of nature. Her paintings often depict birds, bees and butterflies swarming around luscious flowers or honeycomb. The vibrant colors often cascade like a waterfall of warm honey. Her paintings have a dreamlike quality and often display multiple layers of subtle textures and shapes. The images she creates are striking but delicately constructed. Her mark making is soft and elegant and expressive. I’m reminded that nature is a bold and beautiful marvel, but it is also a delicate treasure.Her birds and bees are often drawn in a simplified fashion and lean more toward abstraction than photorealism. But her birds and bees flutter and buzz with energy. Mika also has a masterful command of color and composition. In her “Queen Bee” series, images of the Madonna and Child are obscured by images of bees, flowers, honeycomb and layers of cascading colors. These images of the Madonna and Child further emphasize the themes of fertility and our connection to nature. Mika’s beautiful paintings remind us not to take nature for granted.  

Artist Q&A with Mika Holtzinger
Your work often features images of birds, bees, butterflies and other forms of wildlife, what compels you to create images inspired by nature? 

It's not just because they're beautiful, although I feel there is power in a "pretty picture". In many ways, flora and pollinators make up the foundation of the natural world. They are an integral part of our survival on this planet. I want to bring attention to the bees/pollinators and the issues that are they're facing. I also want to invoke deeper reverence in people for nature. in general, which is why I use human forms in many of my nature pieces.

I’ve noticed that many of your paintings play with Symmetry/Asymmetry and your paintings are often divided into 2 or more panels. Can you explain the significance of those elements in your work? 
I think part of that is my natural aesthetics. But symbolically it represents balance and strength. In nature it takes two sides to thrive, two parts supporting each other. I'm interested in making art that works the same way. 

Can you explain your creative process? 
Ha, organic?! Dedicating yourself to an artistic process is in many ways understanding how your brain is wired and my brain is over-active to say the least. I like to work on several pieces at once, this allows the series to develop and grow as a unit. Being an mixed media artist, I use a plethora of materials: paints, inks, pastels, pencils, glues, fabrics, plastics, etc... The work is made in many layers, so as one layer dries, I can work on another piece. I need to experiment in the studio, using different materials and techniques keeps me curious and engaged. There is a big misconception that an artist has a vision and then creates it. It has never been that way for me. I have an idea, somewhat of a vision and I start a 'dialogue' with the materials, I tell them what I want, they in return tell me what they want to do. Art making is a wonderful compromise.

Who or What has been inspiring you lately?   
Environmental issues inspire me. My love for being outside and Nature in general. People inspire me. My unique spiritual perspective keeps me going. Music of all kinds. 

What albums are you currently listening to in the studio?
I like 1920's/30's music, it puts me at ease, brings a smile to my face. I listen to Alt-J more than is normal and Moby's Innocents album has looped a few hundred times, lately. I'm a music fanatic, I feel there is perfect music for each mood. In another reality, I'm not holding a paint brush, I'm strumming a bass.

What is your favorite place to go in Wichita when you need to get your creative juices flowing?
The Library. I like to wander around in my favorite sections and let books find me. One of my true inspirations is allowing Serendipity to play it’s part in the work.