FHSU Art Student Explores “Mother Water” in MFA Exhibit
By Cristina Janney
Crystal Hammerschmidt explores nature and motherhood in her MFA exhibition “Mother Water”.
The exhibit is on view through Friday at the Moss-Thorns Art Gallery on the Fort Hays State University campus.
She said some of her pieces were a tribute to motherhood and to her own mother. She has been spending more time with her mother recently due to health issues.
Hammerschmidt’s primary artistic focus is printmaking, but the pandemic has helped her branch out into other mediums.
Hammerschmidt, 39, from Smolan, grew up in his parents’ upholstery store. She combined printmaking with upholstery to create mixed media pieces.
“Folk Flower” is a large, colorful circular piece that combines an embossed cutout print on fabric, hand-printed fabric buttons and a cushion on wood. “Nature of Vanity” is another multimedia piece that appears to have vines sticking out of a framed fabric installation.
Hammerschmidt was able to explore FHSU’s casting program. She has a series of large metal discs in the exhibit that were molded from a ring of pine cones. The largest of these is “Disco-cones”, which are made of cast iron and weigh over 500 pounds. The mold for “Disco-cones” weighed more than 1,200 pounds, Hammerschmidt said.
She said the pine cones were picked up during the pandemic when she was walking with her dog.
During the pandemic, when she was at home, Hammerschmidt also made a series of clay models that were used to make cast iron figurines.
Hammerschmidt’s exhibit is not without examples of traditional two-dimensional examples of his printmaking.