The SandzÚn Gallery's summer guest artists and exhibitions begin July 9 and continue through Aug. 19 with “Two Dozen from Five Decades,” glass by Vernon Brejcha, Lawrence; “The Road Less Traveled,” paintings by Brian Hinkle, Wichita; prints from the Gallery's collections by Herschel Logan; and a fine exhibition representing artists in the Gallery's collections.
The Sandzén Gallery's summer guest artists and exhibitions begin July 9 and continue through Aug. 19 with "Two Dozen from Five Decades," glass by Vernon Brejcha, Lawrence; "The Road Less Traveled," paintings by Brian Hinkle, Wichita; prints from the Gallery's collections by Herschel Logan; and a fine exhibition representing artists in the Gallery's collections. A closing reception from 2 to 4 Aug. 18 will give many an opportunity to visit with the guest artists.
Lawrence glass artist Vernon Brejcha grew up in a small rented Kansas farm near Holyrood. His mother was a hardworking homemaker deft at butchering, canning vegetables, rendering lard and making soap. His father raised livestock with the main field crop being wheat.
"We had an outhouse, and no phone, baths were taken in a tin tub on the kitchen floor," he said. "I may have been born on a 1937 John Deere I spent many long days on. As a child I drew incessantly and the only art I knew was the Sunday funnies and comic books. I couldn't wait to see Holyrood in my rear view mirror, but today I wouldn't change one hour of those formative years."
At Fort Hays State University Brejcha saw paintings on canvas for the first time and fell in love with ceramics. A few years later while teaching high school he saw his first exhibition of blown glass in Wichita.
"So it was off to Wisconsin to become one of the pioneers of the modern art glass movement with Harvey Littleton," he said. "Glass was transparent and magic! I could give it atmosphere and through it tell stories of the prairie, farms, love and passion from the land where fast food was a jack rabbit.
"After five decades with a blowpipe in hand in front of 2,200 degree molten glass I've explored several series dealing with dippers in the kitchen water bucket, prairie sunsets, Indian peace pipes, sprouting seeds, severe weather, and Kansas limestone fence posts.
"It's been a life of playing and having fun with glass but I'm most proud of the many students I taught at Tusculum College in Tennessee and the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Several became educators and continue to spread the gospel of glass while others continue to create in their studios and feed their families with their craft. They also taught me a lot."
Wichita painter Brian Hinkle has been developing his career as an artist since receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree from Wichita State University in 1992. In 2008, he made the transition to full-time oil painter, concentrating on the regional landscape. His style falls into the general category of contemporary realism, with tonalist and impressionist influences. His paintings are admired for their honest interpretation of rural and urban scenes, finding beauty and nobility in the simplicity of the commonplace.
Brian is well-known in Kansas and the Midwest as both painter and instructor. He has been teaching classes in painting and drawing at The Wichita Center for the Arts since 1996. His artwork is currently represented by the Strecker-Nelson Gallery in Manhattan; Artworks,Inc. in Wichita; and the Leopold Gallery in Kansas City, Mo.
"If your only experience of Kansas is driving I-70 west from Kansas City toward the Rocky Mountains, you've missed a lot," he said. "Kansas is a land of farms and ranches and small towns best seen from the two-lane highway, or even better, a little country road. The common everyday rural scenes of field and barn, grain elevator and fencepost are sublime by the Kansas light. Whether sunset or sunrise, January or July, Kansas offers up beauty at every corner for those who take a moment to see."
The Herschel Logan prints on exhibit at the Gallery were collected by Birger Sandzén.
"Even as a boy on a Kansas farm," wrote Minna K. Powell, art critic for the Kansas City Star, "Herschel C. Logan (1901-1987) was unconsciously preparing himself for a profession of which he had never heard. Two objects were indispensable to his happiness then, a pocketknife and a piece of wood. They are now the main essentials of his art, for Logan is distinguished among Midwestern artists for the force and vitality of his woodcuts."
Herschel Logan never heard of woodcut prints until after he became employed in the art department of McCormick-Armstrong Company, a Wichita printing company. He had spent a year in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, taking all of the drawing he could get in by day classes and studying by correspondence at night. He was also an eager student of design.
He had been engaged for some time in making designs for the Wichita firm when one day a customer mentioned something about woodcut prints. He liked the sound of the word. After visit with C. A. Seward (1884-1939), who was a well-known printmaker in Kansas. The next day he set out to find a piece of cherry wood. Putting a fine edge on his pocketknife, he made his first woodcut.
The Kansas landscapes Herschel Logan found along the roadside became the subject for many of his prints. Blazing sunlight effects in summer, falling snow and drifted farmsteads in winter are found in his prints. He often masses his areas of black in contrast to splashes of light. The full, round harvest moon shinning on Kansas fields taught Logan that there is a liquid quality to moonlight. Little lakes and puddles of moonlight rest on wheat shocks, roofs, little plateaus and banks of ground.
The Sandzén Gallery is located at 401 North First Street in Lindsborg. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The Gallery will be closed on the 4th of July. Admission is free, contributions welcomed. Docent tours for groups are available by two-week advance appointment with the Gallery. For more information about Birger Sandzén and the Gallery visit the website www.sandzen.org., telephone (785) 227-2220.