LINDSBORG— New exhibitions opening at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg include the Kansas Scenic Byways Invitational, Asian art from the Lundblad Collection, mixed media works by Christina Lamoureaux, and selections from the art students at Smoky Valley High School in Lindsborg. The exhibitions open on Sunday, January 19, 2020, with an afternoon reception from 2 to 4 p.m., and talks beginning at 2:30. The shows will continue through March 15, 2020.

The Kansas Scenic Byways Invitational presents the works of 33 artists inspired by locations along the designed routes in Kansas. There are twelve recognized byways – nine of them are scenic (two being designated National Scenic Byways) and three are historic trails. The Byways are a component of the National Scenic Byways Program, and “seek to identify and designate national scenic byways to increase tourism and educate the traveling public about our environment, history and culture.”

Similar to other invitationals, the idea for this one came out of one of the Gallery’s quarterly show committee meetings. Maleta Forsberg gets credit for introducing the idea, and the rest of the committee enthusiastically jumped on board. After establishing the theme, each committee member was asked to select five artists they would like to see in the show. Those invited were asked to base their works on one or more of the designated Byways. Their imagery could come directly from the landscape or indirectly from personal experiences of the various areas. Additionally, Sue Schlegel, from Lindsborg, was able to secure a grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism to help fund an exhibition catalog.

The Lundblad Collection of Asian art is a Lindsborg highlight, with a wonderful variety of hanging scroll paintings, ceramics, woodblock prints, kimono, and more. Nancy and “Doc” Lundblad lived in Japan for many years, working with the US Air Force medical corps. They enjoyed traveling all over the islands of Japan, from southern Okinawa to northern Hokkaido, as well as taking trips to Hong Kong and other exotic places when the opportunity arose. The Lundblads primarily collected Japanese and Chinese art pieces but also appreciated discovering such things as Southeast Asian Buddhist and Hindu votive bronzes, along with finely-crafted home furnishings including inlaid chests, embroidered textiles, and festival dolls. 

Pulse of the Prairie features the work of Hoisington High School art instructor, Christina Lamoureaux, and will consist of imagery done on a variety of surfaces including paper, canvas, masonite, clay and nostalgic objects with applications of paint, glazes and encaustics. In 2014, Lamoureaux earned an MFA in multimedia and earlier received a MA in printmaking from Fort Hays State University. She writes “My art making responses are the result of experiences in printmaking, drawing, painting and clay building. I am inspired by the beautiful earth, filled with shapes and forms, and its shape shifters such as wind. I find myself rendering images by pressing textures and shapes into the paint and clay, capturing a sense of the pulse of everyday life that’s forever on the move.”

Art by students from Smoky Valley High School round out the exhibitions. They will be showing works in several media selected by instructor Gretchen Elliot. 

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. 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 the website or call (785) 227-2220.