“Collections from Nature” September Exhibit at Art Center


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The metaphors that tie nature to humanity inspired Carole Stuenkel, Kansas City, and Anna Schmidtberger, Manhattan, to create the current exhibition at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art.

The exhibit, “Collections from Nature,” is open throughout the month until Sunday, September 30. The art center is open Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10-4 p.m.; Sundays from 1-4 p.m.

The art focuses on the intricacies of objects the artists found in nature; the process of finding and examining natural objects, and observing manmade structures within a natural landscape, fuels their creativity. The exhibition features a combination of oil paintings, drawing, needle point, and printmaking.

It’s not surprising Stuenkel finds inspiration from nature when creating art. She grew up on a farm outside of Palmer.

“Drawing in the dirt, hoeing weeds, helping cows give birth in the wintertime, and staining my hands and tongue with homegrown cherries and mulberries were part of my youth,” she said. “No leaf or stone was left unturned, and no corner of our family farm was left unexplored.”

WIth this background Stuenkel decided to incorporate nature into her art. She finds the natural world helps her glean personal meaning from the parallel between human life and the nature’s four seasons.

“Both can be beautiful and gentle, yet at times can be ugly and painful,” she explained. “This journey with paint, camera lens, pencil, and ink continues to help me cope with immense loss in my life. It also helps me create my own metaphors of separation, comfort, loneliness, and the discovery of self.”

Stuenkel met Schmidtberger at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kans. Schmidtberger grew up in Spring Hill, Kans. where she started to notice how art rotates around the natural world.

“The imagery of the land around me bled profusely into my art becoming a way for me to reflect upon and document my thoughts, experiences, and hopes for the future,” she said.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative. For more information visit the arts cooperative’s website marshallcountyarts.org.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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