Arts & Culture

Ulrich, Wichita Art Museum to focus on artistic side of Kansans

The Wichita Art Museum and Ulrich Museum of Art are highlighting artists and scholars who relish Kansas’ place in the artistic realm. As the state celebrates its 150 birthday, these museums will show, through speeches and exhibits, the wide breadth of artistry that represents Kansas.

“It is a symposium that looks at the creative culture in Kansas,” said Patricia McDonnell, director of the Ulrich Museum of Art. “As Kansans, it’s interesting to understand the way someone else would understand our state.”

Internationally recognized photographer Terry Evans documents her beloved landscape through photographs.

“I love Kansas,” said Evans. “The Kansas prairie has been the heart of my work for years and years.”

C. Maxx Stevens, a Wichita native and member of the Seminole Tribe, explores Kansas through her cultural narrative. Stevens, who interweaves her childhood memories into her multimedia installations, will speak at the Wichita Art Museum about how our memories define and shape us.

Another Wichita native, Bob Workman, will share his plans for the Flint Hills Discovery Center, which opens this spring. Workman, the director of the Manhattan-based center, will explain the role of science, cultural history and art in the 35,000-square-foot facility.

Mystery novelist Nancy Pickard also is coming down from the Flint Hills. She will speak about why she sets her novels in the high plains and prairies of Kansas.

“Before I started writing books set in Kansas, it seemed to me the state was being portrayed primarily through bitter stereotypes and by outsiders who called it flat, ugly, boring and reactionary,” Pickard said. “I think Kansas has many beauties.”

The program will be rounded out by talks from Stephen Gleissner and Roger Shimomura. Gleissner, chief curator at the Wichita Art Museum, will speak about Herschel C. Logan a printmaker whose primary subject was the land and structures of rural Kansas. Shimomura, a former University of Kansas professor, will speak about his journey as a Japanese American artist and how his art was propelled by various historical and political events.