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New exhibitions opening at the Sandzén Gallery
Treacherous Terrain by Danielle Robinson
Transect by Erin Wiersma
Minnesota Landscape by Maurice Bebb
Soho Lunch by Carolyn Epperly

LINDSBORG — Four new exhibitions open at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery on Aug. 21 and continue through Oct. 23. They feature a national biennial exhibition Watercolor NOW!; sculpture by Danielle Robinson of Hays; works on paper by Erin Wiersma of Manhattan; and drawings by Maurice R. Bebb from the Gallery’s permanent collection.

A reception for the exhibitions will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21. 

• Watercolor NOW! is a biennial exhibition held in locations throughout the United States. It is open to members of the Watercolor USA Honor Society and showcases the best in contemporary watermedia work. The Honor Society is a unique organization formed in 1985 from a broad-based assemblage of inventive artists whose paintings have won awards and/or been juried into three Watercolor U.S.A. national exhibitions, or who have served as jurors to the exhibition. The group endeavors to promote an interest in watermedia painting through the national exhibition held at the Springfield Art Museum in Missouri each year.

• Danielle Robinson is a cast metal sculptor working in Hays and also an adjunct instructor at Fort Hays State University and Crowder College. She is a Southern California native who has shown in group, invitational, and juried exhibitions across the country. Robinson explains, “The influences of my surroundings inspire my artistic expression. My sculptures are abstractions of landscape terrains with a multitude of environments relevant to erosion, drought, and rising seas. My enjoyment of “process” evolved into a passion for working in metals. My work is composed of cast iron, fabricated elements, and found objects. Creating a cast iron sculpture involves many steps and procedures that include meticulous craftsmanship and continuous brainstorming of new ideas and ingenuity. No cast is ever the same.”

• Manhattan artist Erin Wiersma’s art focuses on the body’s capacity to absorb and respond to an environment. Her current work is site-specific, incorporating elements from the Konza Prairie Biological Station. She writes, “I create a record of the land, using both bio-char produced from controlled burns and the embossing from the forbs, fauna and rocky terrain as they incise and transform the paper surface echoing the topography. Pulling, rubbing, dragging, pushing, and lifting – changed by the elements; wind, temperature, humidity, and landscape itself. Paper offers an unparalleled medium to make process visible to the viewer. I create with the prairie; it influences my actions into large-scale works, resulting from the varying burn treatments, fire intensities, and vegetative composition from each location.”

• Wiersma is an associate professor of art at Kansas State University. She received her B.A. from Messiah College and completed her M.F.A. at the University of Connecticut. She is represented by Robischon Gallery in Denver, Colo. and Galerie Wehlau in Munich, Germany.

• Peaceful Places presents landscape drawings selected from the Maurice R. Bebb estate gift to the Sandzén Gallery in 2017. The Bebb family donated a large number of prints, drawings, and sketchbooks along with the artist’s Sturges etching press following the Sandzén Gallery’s 2016 exhibition • • Birds & Beyond: The Prints of Maurice R. Bebb. Although a good portion of Bebb’s copper-plate etchings were portraits of birds, he also created many landscape prints capturing glimpses of the places he enjoyed revisiting, such as lakes in Minnesota, farms in Tennessee, ranches in New Mexico, and mountains in Colorado. The matted drawings on display are landscapes the artist chose from his portable sketchbooks of the late 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, rendering views of his favorite places as well as from special trips to Europe.

Maurice Robert Bebb (1891-1986) was an Oklahoma artist who taught himself printmaking techniques while following a career as a florist in Muskogee. He established an artistic reputation as an exceptional etcher, often working in color with multiple plates. Bebb created more than 230 print designs over his lifetime, and sold very consistently from his home studio. The artist was a member of the three important American print societies of his time (the Print Makers of California, Chicago Society of Etchers, and Prairie Print Makers), and was commissioned by each for limited edition gift prints.

The Sandzén Gallery is located at 401 North First Street in Lindsborg. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.