WICHITA — Taking part in Versus: A Live Art Battle, September 21st at Mark Arts in Wichita, Cowley College Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair Mark Flickinger was selected the overall painting champion by a three-judge panel and will be featured in an exhibition in 2019 at Mark Arts alongside the sculpture champion, former Cowley College creative director Denise Irwin.
According to Laura Roddy, development and marketing director at Mark Arts, this was the fourth year for the event, but the first at its new modern and sophisticated arts center at 13th and Rock in Wichita. All proceeds from the event support the Mark Arts mission of being a vibrant arts hub in Wichita and the region providing opportunities to appreciate and create art in an atmosphere of lifelong learning.
The event consisted of some of the area’s most talented artists creating masterpieces in 20 minutes. This year’s competition had three simultaneous rounds of painting, sculpting and culinary art.
Flickinger was the recipient of a Peoples’ Choice Award and was named 2D Grand Champion, while Irwin was named 3D Grand Champion. The finished pieces were then auctioned off.
“The caliber of our participating artists just keeping better and better,” Mark Arts executive director Katy Dorrah said. “We were honored that Mark Flickinger, such a highly esteemed and successful painter, agreed to participate in our event. It takes a certain amount of guts and showmanship to be willing to create art with such tight time constraints. We were blown away by the landscape Mark created.”
Flickinger did an acrylic painting of Flint Hills moments. He is used to putting in between 100 to 200 hours in each of his paintings, so to complete one in 20 minutes was something he was not used to.
“You had to really think about what matters most in your work and figure out how to still make it look like your own in 20 minutes,” Flickinger said. “There was something immediate about it that I enjoyed.”
Flickinger said his exhibition at Mark Arts in 2019 will consist primarily of landscape work, while he will explore monoprints.