The L. E. “Gus” and Eva Shafer Memorial Art Gallery has been referred to as the “Gem of the Campus” at Barton County Community College. The Shafer Art Gallery houses a collection of intricate Western-theme bronze sculptures by internationally prominent Gus Shafer who grew up near Great Bend. The Gallery has 7,900 square feet for exhibits displaying a permanent collection of more than 600 works along with various other traveling exhibits including some from the Smithsonian.
The Gallery’s roots date back to 1981, when Mrs. Faerie Denman of Great Bend donated the extensive 507-piece art collection that she and her husband Cedric, had aquired over the years. The collection, valued at more than $200,000, demanded proper storage and the means by which Barton could share the artwork with the community. Now numbering more than 700 pieces, the Permanent Art Collection includes 23 of Shafer’s bronzes and more than 100 works by Great Bend native Charles B. Rogers. The collection also contains masterpieces by such artistic giants as Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Audubon, as well as many others.rn rn