|New exhibitions open at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery on Sunday, August 30, 2020. They include pottery by longtime Lindsborg resident Ray Kahmeyer; a group show featuring art by Angela Muller of Russell and Barbara Jo Stevens of Downs; and another group show featuring the work of Becky Hyberger and Peggy Medina of Salina, along with Debbie Wagner of Bennington. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions there will not be an opening reception for these exhibitions, but they can be viewed during normal Gallery hours until October 25, 2020.|
Made to be Used features the work of former Bethany College art professor, Ray Kahmeyer (1930-2007). Kahmeyer arrived at the school in 1967 and established a tradition of functional pottery making until his retirement in 1992. He continued as an active potter in his Lindsborg workshop until his death. This exhibition will feature pieces from throughout his career, and from a variety of local collections. Kahmeyer wrote, "My pots are made to be used. The viewer need not search them for concealed meaning. They are what they seem to be. If my pots are to be successful, their meaning will be found in using them."
Angela Muller and Barbara Jo Stevens share similar philosophies about art and nature, but each brings her own insights to Spirit of Earth and Sky . Muller interprets the American Prairie through abstraction. She combines paint with hand-gathered materials - such as grain, rust, and plant ash - to connect people to the spirit of wild things so they may know they are part of something greater. She began painting in 2010 when she returned to Kansas and saw the prairie with a new set of eyes, finding great teachers in cold moons, ancient stone, and storm. Likewise, Barbara Jo Stevens is drawn to prairie life and especially embraces Native American history. She is fascinated with the beauty of the simple forms and the incredible craftsmanship of their ancient pots. She writes, "I also love the thought that I am tied to these ancient craftswomen of 1000 years ago who were daughters, wives, mothers as well as artists, just like me." This and other influences led to the earthy quality of her forms, progressing over the years to the simple primitive forms she currently makes.
In the summer of 2016 while changing the papers on the bottom of her parrot's cage, Becky Hyberger came across an article from the Home and Garden section of the Salina Journal called Super Kitchens! It immediately sparked new possibilities for art. Becky, along with Debbie Wagner and Peggy Medina, were already planning a group show in the fall of 2017 at the Lincoln Art Center. During a brainstorming session over lunch in Lindsborg, the artists decided their Lincoln exhibition would be called, The Year of the Super Kitchen. Following its debut in Lincoln, it was shown at the Emporia Arts Center in the fall of 2019 and two additional dates were added for 2020: Kansas Wesleyan University in March and the Sandzén Gallery in October. Since their intention was to expand and add new work to the Lindsborg show, Peggy chose the new title, Beyond the Super Kitchen , to embody this transition. Then tragedy happened: Peggy was struck with a ruptured brain aneurism. She died on January 13, 2020, and this exhibit is dedicated to Peggy Medina; a vibrant and passionate artist and friend, who was just beginning to realize her full potential.
The Sandzén Gallery is located at 401 North First Street in Lindsborg and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Gallery is closed on Mondays. Admission is free, with donations appreciated. We ask that visitors wear masks and practice appropriate social distancing. For more information about Birger Sandzén and the Sandzén Gallery visit www.sandzen.org or call (785) 227-2220.