McPherson College professors, Michaela Valli-Groeblacher and Kim Stanley, combined their talents for a gallery show currently on exhibition at The Fiber Studio in Wichita. The exhibit features life-size female figures in clay by Valli-Groeblacher accompanied by poems written by Stanley.

“The poems create a sort of conversation with the sculptures – a conversation which is meant to invite the participation of the onlooker,” Valli-Groeblacher said. “In one, an old woman emerges from a chrysalis to spread enormous painted wings on the wall behind her; in another, a young African-American woman emerges through a shattered glass ceiling with shards of mirror clinging to her gauzy white dress. The figures and poems are meant to draw out the visitors’ own memories, fears and dreams.”

A reception and artist discussion will be  at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 and the exhibit will be featured at the gallery’s Final Friday on August 30. The Fiber Studio is located at 418 S. Commerce Street.

The exhibition focuses on the life experiences of women from youth to old age. Each accompanying poem, posted beside the figure, is inspired either by the figure itself or by the feelings or memories the figure suggests.

The figures with their realistic eyes and gestures can be startling; viewers sometimes express surprise at their silence.

Valli-Groeblacher is assistant professor of art and Stanley is professor and chair for the department of modern languages at McPherson College.