Established through the generosity of the Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust, the Kansas Focus Gallery recognizes artists who have a connection to the state. Exhibitions may focus upon a single artist or group of artists. They may also be thematic, such as real/unreal, and place Kansas-associated artists in context with colleagues from throughout the United States.

The exhibit unites works from the Nerman Museum collection which are landscape inspired. Ranging from the observed/depicted landscape to the imagined/abstracted landscape, these works encapsulate a sampling of artist responses to the American land. They respectively invoke wonder and awe, address ecological concerns, embrace fantasy, and encourage us to see the land anew.

real/unreal extends to the museum's lobby, as well as the administrative office corridor on the 2nd floor. Curated by the museum's founding Executive Director and Chief Curator, Bruce Hartman, this exhibit celebrates the richness and depth of the museum's remarkable permanent collection.

We encourage you to enjoy the art on view in the museum and also the works installed in Collection Focus Areas throughout the campus. These focus areas comprise almost 400 contemporary Native American works, ceramics, sculptures, and paintings. Free maps are available at the museum information desk. We hope you enjoy the “campus landscape” as you traverse the grounds of the college.


Jesse Allen (British-American, b. 1936) is currently based in El Salvador, and was born in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a degree in modern languages, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, England, and also studied at the University of California, Berkeley.

Tomory Dodge (American, b. 1974) was born in Denver, and he lives and works in Los Angeles. He graduated in 2004 with an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 1998 he earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. His work was featured in the Nerman Museum’s inaugural exhibition, American Soil, in 2007.

Keith Jacobshagen (American, b. 1941) from Wichita, Kansas, taught painting at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, for around thirty years. He is currently based in Lincoln. Jacobshagen studied at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, and then he trained as an illustrator and graphic designer at the Kansas City Art Institute, where he earned a BFA in 1965. He worked at Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, Missouri, and then received his MFA from the University of Kansas in 1966.

Sylvia Plimack Mangold (American, b. 1938) lives and works in Washingtonville, New York, graduated with an BFA from Yale in 1961 and studied at Cooper Union, New York.

Joshua Marsh (American, b. 1973) received an MFA from Yale University in 1997 after graduating with a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 1995.

David Melby (American, 1942-2014) was based in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was born in Wichita and attended the Kansas City Art Institute. He earned a BFA in 1967 from Wichita State University and an MFA in 1970 from the University of Nebraska. He completed additional studies at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico.

Dylan Mortimer (American, b. 1979) is a Kansas City artist. He graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA in 2002 and the School of Visual Arts, New York, with an MFA in 2006. The Nerman Museum hosted his solo exhibition Illuminate in 2013.

Jason Needham (American, b. 1971) lives and works in Kansas City, Kansas. He graduated in 1997 with a BFA in painting from the University of Kansas.

Lee Piechocki (American, b. 1980) received a BFA in 2005 from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and an MFA in 2015 from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and is now based in Los Angeles.

Michael Scott (American, b. 1952) is originally from Lawrence, Kansas, and now lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He graduated in 1976 from the Kansas City Art Institute and earned his MA in 1978 from the University of Cincinnati.

Claire Sherman (American, b. 1981) was born in Ohio and attended college at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a BFA in 2003. She went to graduate school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and earned an MFA in 2005. She is currently Associate Professor at Drew University in New Jersey.

James Winn (American, b. 1949) was born in Hannibal, Missouri, and earned his MFA in 1982 from Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, where he also earned an MS in 1980 and a BS in 1979. From 1967-69 he studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He is now based in Sycamore, Illinois, near Chicago.

Carol Zastoupil (American, b. 1944) lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. She was born and raised in Texas and graduated with a BA in Arts Education in 1966 from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. She earned an MFA in Textile Design in Weaving in 1971, also from KU, and in 1990, she completed an MA in Art History from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.