LINDSBORG — New exhibitions opening at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, 401 North First Street, in Lindsborg include paintings by Lindsborg artist Maleta Forsberg and Aaron Morgan Brown of Lawrence, as well as textiles from the collection of Tim Johnson from Wichita and mixed media works by Kearney, Neb., artist Elmer Holzrichter. The new exhibitions will continue through Aug. 11.
Maleta Forsberg is a highly respected Lindsborg artist known throughout the region. She received her training from the Kansas City Art Institute, Wichita Center for the Arts (now MarkArts), and workshops with nationally known artists. Her home and studio are located in the country southeast of Lindsborg and are surrounded by the landscape, flowers, and animals that are the inspiration for many of her paintings. Forsberg’s paintings have been selected and honored in national juried competitions, featured in many magazines, and are included in public, private, and corporate collections in the U.S. and abroad. For this exhibition, Favorite Places and Things Near and Far, she writes, “Painting is always a magical adventure for me. I am fortunate to live in an area with diverse landscape and changing seasons that bring new beauty and challenges.”
Aaron Morgan Brown describes his oil paintings as “pictorial orchestrations — views of an alternate interior reality that are sewn together from daily observations, memories, impressions of the world at large, and my imagination. They are a prismatic lens through which I can re-view the world, and a transcription of what I encounter there. The exhibition title, Absolution Du Jour, is a dichotomy. It is an ode to the human longing for transcendence, delivered tongue-in-cheek, like a fortune cookie.”
Brown was born in Wichita, received a B.F.A. from the University of Kansas and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University. His awards include grants from the Pollock-Krasner and Gottlieb Foundations, and he has participated in group and solo exhibitions internationally. In 2018, he was a resident artist at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico.
Quilts, coverlets, and hooked rugs are being shown from the collection of Tim Johnson. A selection of several hooked rugs are primarily from the Central Kansas region, while two complex woven coverlets from the mid-19th century hail from Pennsylvania and Ohio. The 16 quilts in the exhibition cover a wide historical time frame, with a variety of pieced and appliqued American patterns – from an autographed friendship quilt to differing log cabin setts and an embroidered crazy quilt. A highlight for visitors will be exquisite examples of hand stitching.
Elmer Holzrichter (1924-2016) was born in Harvey County. He was motivated to pursue art by his elementary school teacher and, upon graduation from Burrton High School, was invited by Birger Sandzén to study at Bethany College. Concerned he would not find employment to pay tuition and living expenses, he elected to teach in a county school, but eventually earned a B.F.A. from Wichita State University in 1949. He moved to Dodge City to teach art, and while there completed his M.A. at Fort Hays State University. He accepted a teaching position at Kearney State Teacher’s College in 1963 from which he retired in 1989 as Professor of Art, Emeritus.
As a young child during the Depression, Holzrichter developed a life-long commitment to stewardship of the environment and a respect for plants and animals. His artwork encompassed a broad range of mediums including painting, drawing, collage, fiber banners, papier-mache masks, assemblages, and constructions, often including original poetry and recycled objects. Taking ordinary objects and materials and making them extraordinary became his artistic expression. He was known as the “Thingmaker.”
The Sandzén Gallery 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. Docent tours for groups are available by two-week advance appointment. For more information about Birger Sandzén and the Sandzén Gallery visit www.sandzen.org or call (785) 227-2220.