"We Are the Change" Eco-Art Exhibition to open Nov. 13 at Stocksdale Gallery at William Jewell College


"We Are the Change," an exhibition of eco-art by Susan Ferguson, will hold its opening reception on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Stocksdale Gallery at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO.  

“We Are the Change” will take place Nov. 13-Dec. 18, 2021, at the gallery in Brown Hall on the William Jewell campus. The exhibition will feature my eco-art perspectives in an array of different media, including 2D and 3D fiber artworks, encaustic painting, collage, quilting and stitching. Much of the art in this exhibition explores the concepts of climate change and its impact on ecology and the environment. The exhibition will feature several oversized works. 

Several additional events are also planned. On Saturday, Nov. 20, I will host a Children’s Story Hour at the gallery for children ages 4-10 and their parent/s or guardian/s from 9 a.m. to noon in the gallery. The story hour will feature several children’s books about environmental issues and environmental sustainability. After the story hour ends, the children will be invited to take part in the making of a mural about the environment. The mural will then be displayed at the gallery until the exhibition ends on Dec. 18. 

On Saturday, Dec. 4, a Wire Tree Sculpture workshop for middle and high school students will take place from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the conference room adjacent to the gallery. Art students from Liberty Public School District will be invited to work with members of William Jewell’s Art Club to design and create trees out of wire and assorted materials. Gallery visitors will also be able to create wire trees as part of an interactive project on the days when I'm at the gallery. A weekly schedule will be posted. 

 On Saturday, Dec. 11, I will make a presentation about making art with discarded and recyclable materials. The presentation will take place in the gallery from 10-11 a.m. The public is invited to attend. 

 All activities are free. In keeping with William Jewell College policies and practices, masks are required, and social distancing is expected. 

The Ruth E. Stocksdale Gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. It is located on the second floor of Brown Hall on the William Jewell College campus, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO. Other visiting times may be arranged by appointment by contacting Nathan Wyman, gallery director. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Liberty Arts Commission, the Transient Guest Tax and William Jewell College.

I am a self-taught artist. In addition to weaving, I engage in sewing, quilting, stitching, felting, collage, encaustic painting and fiber sculpture. My goal for this exhibition is to offer people visual opportunities for reflection on their own connections and experiences related to the environment and to consider ways they can help to achieve environmental sustainability. In a creative field that has long emphasized a predictable form of utility, my intention as an artist is to create an unexpected aesthetic through texture and combinations and placement of traditional and unlikely materials. My work is often messy and disheveled. 

I hold two academic degrees in English (B.A. and M.A.). I worked for more than forty years in agriculture, journalism, writing, editing, marketing and teaching before chucking it all. In southern Arizona, during a hiatus from traditional employment, I discovered a passion for weaving. I live in Independence, MO, where my exploration and experimentation with weaving, fiber art and encaustic painting now consume much of my time. I am a member of the Fiber Guild of Kansas City, InterUrban ArtHouse, Kansas City Arts Coalition, Surface Design Association, Studio Art Quilts Associates and Weavers Guild of Greater Kansas City.  I am a recipient of the 2021 Rocket Relief Emergency Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation, Spencer Museum of Art and Charlotte Street Foundation; and ArtsKC Regional Arts Council Inspiration Grants in 2018 and 2019. I was a Fellow in the 2020 cohort of the Artist INC program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. My work has been exhibited in galleries in Kansas City, MO; Liberty, MO; St. Louis, MO; Prairie Village, KS; Overland Park, KS; and Santa Fe, NM.