RUSSELL — The next exhibit at the Deines Cultural Center is the summer showing of “Art of Aquarians,” which opens Sunday, June 10 with an artists’ reception from 2-4 p.m.
Four Great Bend women bonded while taking a painting class and discovered that they were all born under the sign of Aquarius. One of the four passed away, they added two more, and now the five of them are “The Aquarians.”
Elaine Pugh, Bev Simonson, Esther Maher, Barbara Unrein and Mary Lee Adams will be displaying oils, watercolor and acrylic, ceramics, pastels and jewelry at the Deines Cultural Center through July 22.
Pugh has been drawing as long as she can remember. She works mostly in oil and has placed and won in juried shows. She has done commissioned work including a Kansas landscape as a gift for the mayor of Great Bend’s Sister City in Germany.
Simonson started painting over 60 years ago and has worked in many media, currently concentrating on pastel. She works in both a representational manner and sometimes in a more impressionistic or abstracted manner. She says, “Just looking at an open box of pastels is instant inspiration. You can make the color soft or bold and bright, depending upon your mood and the subject matter.”
Thirty seven years ago, at age 50, Esther Maher enrolled at Barton County Community College and took drawing, design, sculpture, printing, ceramics and painting. She has done embossing, collagraphs, colored ink and glue, gesso base subtractive painting, ink rubs, airbrushing and traditional watercolors, but clay has been her favorite medium. She is known for her ceramics and now makes porcelain pendants for jewelry and carves clay like she used to carve wood reliefs.
After college graduation in 1951, Barbara Unrein began her career as the wife of a busy physician and mother to five children. In 1972 she began painting seriously, taking classes, workshops and seminars at BCCC. She joined the Aquarians in 1982 and maintains a studio in her home. Her work is included in several collections throughout the state.
Adams’ interest in art began in an art class taught by Margaret Sandzen Greenough at Bethany College. She studied portraiture and landscape. After a time of brush painting, she discovered that using the palette knife was an interesting means of expression and has continued to do so. The character of the old stone structures in Jerusalem has been a most interesting subject to her.
The Deines Cultural Center is located at 820 N. Main in Russell. The hours are 12-5 Tuesday through Sunday and 1 – 5 on Saturday and Sunday. The Center is accessible to those with disabilities.