“Roots and Wings: Our Gifts from Mother Nature,” prints by various artists and sculptures by Beth Vannatta, are now on display in the Regier Gallery at the Luyken Fine Arts Center.
Vannatta’s vision and passion is also on display, reinforced by a group of artists who have come together to support this vision.
Vannatta, a retired art teacher from Halstead, has devoted his time in recent years to sculpture and speaking out against war and violence.
A group of printmakers organized under the name Springdale Printmakers to create work that supports Vannatta, more specifically by raising money through the sale of prints.
“Roots and Wings: Our Gifts from Mother Nature” is on display at the Regier de Bethel Art Gallery at the Luyken Fine Arts Center until October 22.
The opening hours of the gallery are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. There is no admission fee.
The exhibition features prints, as well as sculptures by Vannatta.
The goal of “Roots and Wings” is to promote the art of printmaking and to recognize the rich visual tradition of the Great Plains region.
The show travels across Kansas with the goal of acquainting viewers with regional artists and making original hand-made prints available to the public.
The inspiration for “Roots and Wings” is the Prairie Printmakers, which created nationally recognized exhibits in the United States during the Great Depression.
“Roots and Wings” will serve as both a fundraiser and a promotional tool for the Springdale Art and Nature Center.
The latter is another vision of Vannatta. She plans to transform her home on the prairie into an outdoor space where her passion for art, education and nature can be shared and preserved.
“Well, in the last quarter of my life,” says Vannatta, “I realized that if I didn’t share my knowledge and materials, everything would soon be gone.
“I have decided to donate my 48 acre farm, my tools and equipment, my sculpture and my teaching skills to further the growth of the Springdale Art and Nature Center, a 501 non-profit organization. (c) 3. “
In his artist statement, Vannatta continues: “I feel a deep love for humanity and a deep distress in the face of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow men.
“My sculpture consists of three main subjects: the beginning of life, the end of life and the suffering of life. War certainly contributes greatly to suffering and to the end.
“I have messages to say and sculpture is the medium.”
Vannatta taught at Hutchinson High School for 27 years and also taught a jewelry design course at Hutchinson Community College for 12 years, while raising five adopted children.
Since retiring, she has focused on her “artistic love” of sculpture – although she began working in the medium while still teaching.
Ten of the plays were part of a tour of the United States that Vannatta did about a decade ago, including stops in Santa Fe, Portland, Chicago and Washington, DC The Bethel Show includes even more plays than during of the tour.
The Springdale Art and Nature Center is located on US Highway 50, just west of Halstead, and Vannatta says visitors are welcome.
“Roots and Wings: Our Gifts from Mother Nature” is in the Regier Gallery until October 22.
Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for its academic excellence, Bethel ranks 15th in the Washington Monthly list of “Best colleges of license” and n ° 31 in American News and World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, both for 2021-22. Bethel was the only college or university in Kansas selected for the American Association of College & Universities’ 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation. For more information see www.bethelks.edu