Area artists exhibit to open

Chad Frey
McPhersonSentinel
The art of McPherson County artisans Ann Zerger and Chip Parker will be taking to an outdoor stage this winter, when the duo's "Parallels" opens fully at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston.

The art of McPherson County artisans Ann Zerger and Chip Parker will be taking to an outdoor stage this winter, when the duo's "Parallels" opens fully at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains.

Zerger and Parker are behind Prairie Works Design Inc., a Moundridge-based studio.

Zerger, Professor Emeritus of Art at McPherson College, and Parker, an award-winning architect, returned to Zerger’s family farm in 1988 and opened their architecture and sculpture studio near Moundridge.

In more recent years, they have developed a portion of their land in Southwestern McPherson county into what they call an "Eco-Art-Sphere", which includes both permanent and ephemeral sculptures. In addition, the artists have planted native wildflower and grass species to create a 5-acre Monarch Waystation. 

The art of McPherson County artist Chip Parker is part of  "Parallels" at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains.

 “The focus of this eco-arts sphere was to create a permanent environmental installation on a portion of land that has been in Ann’s family for over 100 years that would celebrate the Great Plains Prairie and the local and migratory wildlife that depend on this environment for existence," the pair wrote on their website. "The intent was to create an installation that would impede the return of this land to agriculture or any other type of production as well as be a catalyst for a visceral conversation with the viewer on the beauty, diversity and serenity of the prairie."

They have created  "Parallels", depicting elements of the prairie in a scale that is larger than life. In October, they installed five metal sculptures depicting prairie grasses, butterflies and caterpillars on the Arboretum grounds. In addition, sixteen photographs and video footage, capturing moments in the artists’ Moundridge-based studio, are on display in the Visitor Center.

The art of McPherson County artist Ann Zerger  will be part of "Parallels" at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains.

Though the sculptures have been on display since October, the entire multi-media installation will be available for public viewing at the Arboretum from Nov. 26 through mid-December. Zerger will present an artist talk in the Visitor Center at 4 p.m. Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. 

The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and during special events, such as the Winter Luminary Walk, and the grounds are open to the public every day from dawn until dusk.

The Luminary Walk will be Luminary Walk, will be 5:30 to 8 p.m.  Nov. 26 to 28 and December 3 to 5. Advance tickets are suggested for the walk.

The art of McPherson County artisans Ann Zerger and Chip Parker will be inside and out at  at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains.

All elements of the installation are available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds being generously donated to the Arboretum by the artists. Inquire in the Arboretum office for pricing. For more information about the artists, visit pwdstudios.com. For more information about Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, visit dyckarboretum.org