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Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

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Beach Museum of Art
Kansas State University
14th St & Anderson Ave
Manhattan, KS 66506


Destruction Framed: Photographs of the Chapman/Manhattan Tornado, June 11, 2008

June 11, 2009 – August 16, 2009

Hyle Family Gallery

Numbers can tell part of the story.

June 11, 2008. 10 p.m. to midnight. Three communities. Winds stronger than 150 miles per hour. Homes destroyed: 131. At least $26.3 million in private property damage. At Kansas State University, $20 million in damage. Two deaths.

Yes, the tornado that struck Chapman, Manhattan and Soldier – three communities in northeast Kansas – on that date can be quantified, to a certain extent.

But until you see it – the houses torn in half, the school gymnasium with the roof removed, the truck left standing up on its back end – you can’t quite get the feel of it.

That’s what photographs can do. They let you feel the story. They are documentary evidence, but they are also works of art in the sense that they speak to the heart as well as the head.

In “Destruction Framed: Photographs of the Chapman/Manhattan Tornado, June 11, 2008,” the Beach Museum of Art is showing the artwork of four photographers who captured the feel of the aftermath of that tornado. Tom Leopold, a freelance photographer, collected his for a book. Rod Mikinski, David Mayes, and Luke Townsend shot theirs for The Manhattan Mercury newspaper.

The exhibition opens – appropriately enough – on June 11, exactly one year from the date of the storm. It runs through August 16.

Ned Seaton, general manager, The Manhattan Mercury

The Beach Museum of Art is offering Tom Leopold’s book, “in an instant” for sale during the exhibition. Profits from the sale of the book will be donated to the Chapman school system for tornado relief, and the United Way of Riley County for tornado relief.