Exhibitions opening on May 3, at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg include paintings and prints from the permanent collection and other sources by well-known Oklahoma/New Mexico artist Doel Reed (1894-1985), steel sculpture by Don Osborn of Roxbury, paintings by Eric Carbrey of Wichita, and mixed-media works by Robert Joy of Ellinwood. The shows will be on display through July 19, with an opening artist talk and reception on Sunday afternoon, May 3. The artists will discuss their work from 2 to 3 p.m. with a reception following.
Over the course of his illustrious career Doel Reed exhibited in at least 350 juried shows and garnered over 100 national and international awards for his art, primarily for his masterful aquatint etchings. However, at the close of his 91-year lifetime as an artist, Reed’s friends remembered him best as a “most kind and generous person--someone who always looked for the good in other people.” Doel Reed’s affable personality and good humor manage to shine through his letters to other artists, including those to the Sandzén and Greenough family that are preserved in the archives of the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery.
Reed and Sandzén exchanged prints for their personal collections, each appreciating the other’s mastery of technique and signature landscape styles. Sandzén invited Reed to participate in Bethany College exhibitions and after his death, his daughter Margaret and son-in-law Pelham Greenough went on to host Doel Reed exhibitions of paintings and prints at the Sandzén Gallery in 1963, 1975, and 1985. A fresh look at Reed’s work is now being undertaken by the Sandzén Gallery in an exhibition titled “A Generous Spirit,” which builds on the Gallery’s holding of eight oil paintings, a drawing, and twelve aquatint etchings. Rounding out the show are loans from the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman, Okla., the Pierson Gallery in Tulsa, and several private sources.
“Fabricated Steel Sculpture, Patinas, and Metallics” is the title of, and describes, the exhibit by Roxbury artist Don Osborn. The goal of his work, he writes, is “leading the viewer to reflect on the history of objects and art.” To achieve this, he creates architectural “volumetric forms that are soundly fabricated with interior space and surface qualities that express a sense of human scale and experience.”
Osborn received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Wichita State University in 1970 and after graduation obtained a teaching position at Bethany College in Lindsborg to help develop the sculpture program. Later in his career he became head of the sculpture program at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, where he taught for 20 years until his retirement in 2005. Throughout the years, his work has been included in many national and international exhibitions and is installed in many notable sculpture parks. Following retirement he returned to the Lindsborg area and continues to actively produce and exhibit his sculpture.
Wichita artist Eric Carbrey will be showing hard-edged geometric work that has a soft-side. In his words, he tries to “create complexity with simplicity, and at the same time simplicity with complexity.” He adds, “I enjoy being challenged by my work. I experience great delight in the physical demands of painting, and the processes of creating. I experience great pleasure walking into a lumber yard and deciding which one of the pieces of wood will end up as a work of art. The demands of color choice and consideration of how the pigments will play with and against each other, are all an enjoyable parts of the creation process.”
The paint used by the artist is obtained from a recycling center and “has been abandoned by its previous owners because the color was not right or it had been sitting on a shelf in their garage for the past several years and its original owners grew tired of looking at it so they relinquished ownership of the paint.” That paint is then applied following a step-by-step formula to create vibrant and stirring works of art.
Robert Joy has been a fixture in the Great Bend art scene for many years and has developed a dedicated following. Although he lives in Ellinwood, he regularly commutes to his studio at Petr’s Frame House in downtown Great Bend, where he diligently paints and draws for much of each day. He developed his current style with the realization that drawing is a lot like writing, “I hadn’t gone to college to hone my handwriting skills, but it was certainly my own style and I didn’t have to work at anything special to produce that style. I just moved my pen on a paper and there it was without the slightest effort. Why couldn’t I just do the same thing in drawing and painting as when I wrote? So I just simply started drawing and all the magic began to happen. My brain, with all its crazy way of seeing things, just locked on to that freedom and off I went.” His uniquely framed subject matter ranges from cats and nature to his experiences in the Vietnam War.
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 – closed on Mondays. Admission is free, with donations welcome. Docent tours for groups are available by two-week advance appointment with the Gallery. For more information about Birger Sandzén and the Gallery visit the website www.sandzen.org or telephone (785) 227-2220.