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Tag: Linda Duke


Prairie Studies Initiative

During fiscal year 2017 the Prairie Studies Initiative (PSI) has continued on-going projects such as the Meadow and the hosting of the annual Tall Grass Artist Symposium, and undertaken new ones as well. Touch the Prairie, an interactive touch screen that links prairie-related artworks in the museum’s collection with natural science information about the prairie ecosystem, has taken on a double life. Programmer/artists Rose Marshack and Rick Valentin were able to further develop Touch the Prairie for installation on a large upright mobile touch screen. The creative work and equipment purchase were made possible by a gift from Jackie Hartman Borck and Lee Borck. The mobile touch screen was unveiled April 1, 2017 on the occasion of K-State Open House, and is now available to visitors in the museum’s galleries. We hope you will check it out on your next visit to the museum.

The touch table, its original platform, will ultimately return to the Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning. Before that, the interactive table will spend the academic year 2017-18 at the offices of the Kansas Board of Regents in Topeka as part of a display titled “Artistry and Innovation” representing the creative cross-disciplinary work of Kansas State University.

A suite of six high resolution photographs of prairie plants with their exceptionally long roots by Lindsborg-based photographer Jim Richardson has become part of the museum’s permanent collection. Two of these prints were part of the reinstallation of the permanent collection, opened last fall as part of a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

In May the museum took the lead role in submitting a proposal to the National Endowment for the Arts titled, “What can the arts teach us about communicating STEM content?” Associate Professor Shreepad Joglekar of the department of Art and I serve as co-principle investigators. The Salina-based Land Institute is our required non-arts partner organization; key support for the proposal comes from Todd Holmberg, executive director of McCain Performing Arts, and Dean of Libraries Lori Goetsch. The strong place-based and cross disciplinary focus of proposal activities make it an exciting next step for PSI. Fingers crossed!

– Linda Duke, Director

2017 Fall exhibitions only have weeks left…

“Deeper” and “broader” are words that come to mind when I think about Fall 2017 exhibitions and programs at the museum. They represent connections with K-State departments and Kansas communities that are deeper and broader than ever before.  From the residency activities of Ubiquitous artist Enrico Isamu Ōyama, to the youth and school programs in conjunction with Sayaka Ganz’s Reclaimed Creations, to the glimpse of our regional past in Thrift Styles, to the  Fronteras/Frontiers  exhibition’s ambitious community outreach – these artistic projects will touch many lives!

I hope you will visit the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art often during this busy fall to encounter the interesting sights created and ideas proposed by these exhibitions and related programs.  The museum aims to serve as a window to the world and to offer an invitation to think anew about this place, the Flint Hills and tall grass prairie of Kansas. We hope you agree that we are fulfilling our mission. Please join us in these adventures! And please note the listings of generous donors who make this work possible. They deserve our hearty and sincere thanks.

Linda Duke, Director

The Beach Museum of Art office and galleries will be closed November 23-25, 2017 and December 24, 2017 through January 1, 2018.

Sayaka Ganz: Reclaimed Creations

September 5 – December 9, 2017

In her sculpture, Sayaka Ganz uses reclaimed plastic objects such as discarded utensils as a painter uses brush strokes. She describes her style as “3D impressionism”: The recycled objects appear unified at a distance, but at close proximity, individual objects are discernable. Sculptures in this exhibition include animals in motion that are rich in color and energy. Ganz was born in Yokohama, Japan, and grew up living in Japan, Brazil, and Hong Kong. She holds a master of fine arts degree in sculpture from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The Tour of “Sayaka Ganz: Reclaimed Creations” is produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C., David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Curator/Tour Director.

Ubiquitous: Enrico Isamu Oyama

August 15 – December 23, 2017 

Enrico Isamu Ōyama represents a contemporary generation with a distinctly global perspective. Child of an Italian father and a Japanese mother, Ōyama grew up in Tokyo, Japan, lived for extended periods in North Italy, and has been working in New York since 2011. “Ubiquitous” surveys how Ōyama channeled his interests in Tokyo and American street cultures, Western abstract art, and Japanese calligraphy to create Quick Turn Structure (QTS), his signature expression. Appearing across a wide range of creative platforms, including painting, digital media, sound, and fashion, QTS gives visual form to the mixed-race, multicultural, transnational experiences of people in today’s world of fluid borders and interconnectivity.

Thrift Style

August 1 – December 16, 2017

The reuse of feed, flour, and sugar sacks in clothing and other household objects became popular during the mid-1920s. Businesses capitalized on interest by introducing bags with increasingly varied printed patterns. The sacks and other fabric scraps from manufacturers continued to serve thrifty home sewers during the Great Depression and into the 1960s. A collectors market for the bags and fabric remnants thrives today. This exhibition will explore the recycling of fabrics in clothing and quilts drawn from the collection of the Historic Costume and Textile Museum of Kansas State University. Varied feed bags from a 2016 gift to that museum will highlight the range of print motifs available to twentieth-century home sewers.

Wondering about Meaning Part II

This post is part two of a two part blog series, “Wondering about Meaning” written by the Director of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Linda Duke.

Part I

Information overload affects artists, too. Some of the best new work evidences that artists have searched for meaning in the onslaught and employed their skills in sorting through dense information and making sense of complexity and ambiguity.  Consider this work of art in the collection of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art: Dendrochronological Data Sequences by Andrzej Zielinski, a sculpture that evokes a computer keyboard and screen in a brightly colored “head comics” sort of style. Careful examination reveals that the “screen” is an actual cross-section slice of a tree or, rather, of three trees that have grown as one, each with a core and concentric annual growth rings. Tree rings are well known to record the effects of climate conditions. It may therefore dawn on the viewer, especially after reading the title the artist has given this work, that two modes of data storage are referenced here: the one recorded and preserved in the natural growth of trees since that botanical life form evolved on Earth, and the one employed by the hard drive of an early 21st c. computer. Andrzej simply presents us with this observation, in a material object constructed with meticulous craftsmanship that may be overlooked because of its playful form. The artist juxtaposes two means of data storage and two assumptions we may make about objects, the latter being that a humorously distorted form carries no serious meaning and that classic material techniques such as bronze casting, marble carving, and gilding would be employed only in a serious-looking sculpture.

In their artworks artists juxtapose the most baffling data points and toss to us, as viewers, intriguing hints and inspiring possibilities instead of burying us in didactics and rationales. They give us experiences and visions to unpack.  In doing this, they continue an important and age-old function of art. They help us to understand our lives and the realities we experience. They encourage us to sense who we are. They suggest to us that the answer to “Who am I?” is never final. It grows and changes as we encounter the messy, complex, and confusing world around us. It’s an ongoing calculation of this plus those minus that. It’s worth wondering about.

Dendrochronological Data Sequences 2015 Andrzej Zielinski http://www.andrzejzielinski.net/portfolio/dendrochronological-data-sequences-2015/