Prairie Views

April 5 – December 15, 2022

“I had always thought of the American prairie as an unexciting large chunk of empty space; an underdog landscape. At best, it has been taken for granted. The prairie is my theater, my stage, my drama.”
—Patricia DuBose Duncan

This exhibition gives voice to the prairie and provides opportunities for all ages to discover itsform and beauty through the lens of Kansas artists. The exhibition complements the nearby outdoor Meadow as well as art displayed in other galleries, including Jim Richardson’s photographs of prairie root systems and Patricia Duncan’s Red Prairie with Bison painting.

Highlights include a delicate watercolor depicting the Kansas prairie, and Dancing on Table, a collage by Lynn Benson that alludes to the vulnerability of the Ogallala aquifer, often described as the life of the prairie ecosystem. Also featured is Prairie Fire near Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, 1997 by photographer Larry Schwarm, author of the book On Fire (2003).

This exhibition will serve as the basis of the Picturing Kansas school tour, “Roots to Sky.” The exhibition is also tied to K-State’s Prairie Studies Initiative, a collaborative project involving K-State faculty, staff, students and community members. The initiative’s aim is to cultivate understanding of the natural ecosystems, history, culture, and livelihoods of the prairie, and to employ the arts to make these explorations meaningful to the public.

—Cassie Wefald, education intern/co-curator

Platinum Major Sponsors: Dan and Beth Bird
Silver Sponsors: Gary and Helen Johnston and Charles Marshall and Richard Tooke
Bronze Sponsors: Jerry and Barbara Boettcher