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Kansas Wesleyan University

“If You Can Keep It,” drawings by Darren Morawitz, will open Jan. 8 at The Gallery in Sams Hall of Fine Arts on the Kansas Wesleyan University campus.

Morawitz, an artist based in Salina, is the education director for the Salina Art Center.

The title is taken from something Benjamin Franklin allegedly said after the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1787: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Morawitz said Franklin’s statement and his own fascination with the parallels between the United States and Roman Empire form the foundation of his artistic inquiry.

“My work questions whether society comprehends the interconnections among millions of historical ‘cuts’ that can imperceptibly transform republics into dictatorships,” Morawitz said, much like the cuts and wounds that eventually brought down the Roman empire.

Morawitz has had multiple solo exhibitions across the state, and he has been included in many group exhibitions such as the Kansas Watercolor Society National Exhibit and the Wichita Arts Council Juried show. One of the murals in downtown Salina is his work. He received his BFA in Studio Painting and Art Education from Fort Hays State University.

The drawings will be on display from Jan. 8 to Feb. 16. A reception for the artist will be from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 19.

Admission to The Gallery is always free.