LINDSBORG — Three new exhibits open at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, 401 N. First St. in Lindsborg, on Saturday with a reception that evening from 5 to 7 p.m., with remarks at 5:30 p.m. Featured exhibits include the 2016 Artist Self-Portrait Invitational; color etchings by former Prairie Print Maker, Maurice Bebb; and blown glass by Lindsborg native Helen Koons Gragert of Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The Artist-Self Portrait Invitational will give visitors a personal glimpse at many of the artists in the region and make many of those artists stretch beyond their comfort zones. It requires each artist to make a new piece specifically for the exhibition. With 89 artists involved, a 20-page color catalog will be available that documents the exhibition.
Maurice Robert Bebb (1891–1986) of Oklahoma established a national reputation as an exceptional color etcher. He created more than 220 print designs and provided three gift prints for print societies of which he was a member — including the Prairie Print Makers in 1960.
The Sandzén Gallery is pleased to present the first Maurice Bebb retrospective exhibition, as well as the debut of a 260-page, full color catalogue raisonné, “Birds & Beyond: The Prints of Maurice R. Bebb.” The hardcover book is published by the Sandzén Gallery, distributed by Pomegranate Press, and will be available at the opening reception.
The exhibition includes almost 100 etchings, displaying the full span of Bebb’s career with a variety of subject matter and style, including exquisite Christmas cards. Most of the prints in the show are loaned from the Mallery Collection of Overland Park, and generous support has been provided by the Bebb Family and by Jack and Georgia Olsen of American Legacy Gallery, Kansas City, Kansas.
Helen Koons Gragert is a native of Lindsborg and credits the rich artistic environment of the community and schools for her vocation and avocation. Growing up, Gragert and her mother, Kathleen Koons, frequently visited the Sandzén Gallery, and those memories have served to inspire and motivate her blown glass work. She has been blowing glass for more than 30 years and has operated and maintained a private studio for nearly 19 of those years.
Gragert's exhibition, Celestia, has evolved over the last several years to serve as a personal tribute from the artist's heart to her loved ones. Merry Weather Skies is a tribute to her grandmother. When initially formed, it was like the reflection of a magnificent sunrise – the type of morning sky Gragert's grandmother always told her the fairy godmother, Merryweather, had painted just for them.
Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, with donations welcome. Tours for groups are available by two-week advance appointments. For more information about Birger Sandzén and the gallery visit http://sandzen.org or call 785-227-2220.