Eco-friendly show featured at Moss-Thorns; green interior design, electric car exhibited

Light shines in greens and browns through a chandelier of empty bottles onto a second-hand table donned with placemats of woven candy wrappers. On the buffet in the background stands a large bottle from the Lb. Brewing Co., holding a candlestick instead of beer. Looking at the vignette, the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure" couldn’t ring truer.

It is all part of an eco-friendly exhibit that shows just how green we can go -- in style -- put on by the Fort Hays State University chapter of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID), a national student organization for students of interior design. The show opens with a public reception from 7 to 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6, at the Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Rarick Hall, room 102, on the FHSU campus. The show runs until Feb. 20.

The show, which runs until Friday, Feb. 20, includes pieces by 17 interior design majors, pieces of auto history centered on old U.S. Highway 40, and a hand-made electric car.

The interior design program at FHSU includes courses in design rendering, architecture, residential and commercial design, textile study and furniture design. "The interior design program was small in the beginning, and we are still growing with 50 (current) majors here at the university," said Charmion Arthur, instructor of art.

"It's a lot of fun. I was drawn to it. I enjoy the challenge of solving problems for others and making surroundings more pleasing for others and myself," said Ashlee Orr, Hays senior. Orr, an interior design major, has pieces in the show and also made the invitations, which are works of art by themselves. Designer cloth scraps donated by a local business were attached to pieces of cardstock with event information, so every invitation is unique.

The electric car in the auto display was fabricated by a Hays resident who wished to remain anonymous. The creator, a career mechanic and machinist, custom-made the suspension and drive system and many of the other parts.

The car is made primarily of aluminum and runs on 96 volts, which it gets from a bank of automotive batteries. It has three wheels and looks as if its ancestors were closer to motorcycles than cars. The top speed has not yet been discovered.

"It's really something to see. It's wonderful; more of a piece of art," said Leland Powers, chair of the Department of Art.

A modern, motorized scooter will also be on display, and a local bicycle shop in Hays donated a top-end bicycle to emphasize the show's green theme. Auto enthusiasts from as far away as Salina loaned numerous other pieces of “automobilia” to the department for the exhibit.

Gallery hours for the fall and spring semesters are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information contact Arthur at (785) 628-4310 or

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Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
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Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |