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Mercer exhibition highlights local’s art career

The Mercer Gallery will start the 2022/23 exhibition season with surreal illustrations, prints, and drawings of long-time Garden City resident Alvin Schultz from Aug. 15 to Sept. 9, and an artist reception on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon.

The exhibition “Evolution of an Artist-A Retrospective,” highlights almost 50 years of one man’s artistic journey.

“My goal is to invite the viewer to see ordinary objects or subject matter from a different perspective. If I can illicit an emotional response, such as laughter, a smile, or even a comment, negative or positive, I have accomplished my goal as an artist,” Schultz said in a media release.

Born in Ellsworth, but calling Garden City home since 1964, Schultz remembers drawing on brown paper sacks, then typing paper and poster boards, progressing to all types of art mediums and paper.

“I was always doodling in school on the margins of my notebooks, which were as intricate with detail as my doodles are today,” he said, adding that his collection includes a variety of mediums including pencil drawings, pen & ink, air brush, silk screenings, linoleum/woodblock prints, copper etchings, photography, and ceramic paperweights.

Growing up, Schultz was strongly influenced by comic books, comic strips, and editorial cartoons. He was later influenced by Peter Max and the Pop Culture posters and record album covers, as well as the artwork of Eric Sloane, MC Escher, and Frank Frazetta.

Schultz also credits his art instructors, including Ethel Hooper, Galen Flora, Bob Scott, Edward Nicklaus and Michael Knutson with giving him the tools, encouragement, and creative license to be himself.

Schultz said the best description of his work be that of a “Graphic Artist,” noting that through his artistic journey he has sold editorial cartoons for the Garden City Telegram, holiday advertisements for J&M Paint and Wallcovering, and submitted the Zebra logo for Lee Richardson Zoo.

Schultz has won various Honorable Mention and Grand Champion awards in the Professional category at the Kansas State Fair, and multiple awards at different Juried shows locally.

“There are several themes throughout my work such as humor; close-up nature, especially leaves and devils claws; and detailed sections of cars and machinery. Plus, an occasional landscape or two, he said.

The Mercer Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.

For more information, contact Gallery Director Michael Knutson at