The paintings of Ardith Fell will be showcased at Gallery 1001 in Winfield during the month of November, along with the sculptures and ceramics of her son, Mike Fell. The last time both artists shared a show was forty years ago, during their senior year as art students at Southwestern College.
Ardith Fell started college as a young woman at Kansas State University where she studied home economics with a specialty in art. After two years, she left school to raise a family and returned to her studies at Southwestern College when her children were mostly grown. During the years away from school she took up painting seriously and passed along her love of the arts to children Mike, Tom, and Sheryl. Ardith was widely recognized in Kansas as a portrait painter and held several shows in the area.
She specialized in portraits of native Americans, as well as scenes from the American southwest, and participated in art shows with the Wichita Area Artists Guild at Century II, and at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center in Iola, where she had a one-man show of Indian paintings. Raised in the Kansas City area, she had lived in various rural locations during her adult life, arriving in Cowley County in 1969. Ardith Fell was active in the arts wherever she went, and at one point served as president of the Arkansas City Arts Council.
She returned to her college study in the mid-1970’s at Southwestern College where her oldest child, Mike, was a junior with a double major of art and biology. At the time of their joint senior art show she said, “I haven’t changed my style much since returning to art study at Southwestern. I’m still a realist, but I’ve loosened up. I see things better. At Southwestern, I’ve been exposed to more contemporary art than ever before, and I guess I’ve incorporated that with my realism.” Classes at Southwestern College allowed her a chance to experiment in art forms she had never tried before.
Mike Fell, charter member of the Gallery 1001 community of artists, grew up with his mother’s artistic influence. “Watching her work on drawings and paintings and being asked to critique her work, I developed an appreciation for detail,” Fell said.
His work blends a love of nature and natural forms with his reverence for life and its multiple expressions. From simple abstract forms whose flowing shapes and contrasting textures invite a person to touch, to the intricate details of the human face, Mike Fell’s works combine reality and imagination in a manner which invites the viewer to stop and participate in the experience.
“I like working with my hands—to feel what I am doing,” Fell said. In sculpture and ceramics, he can feel form taking shape as he works. He enjoys re-purposing “found objects”, such as pieces of old farm equipment or bicycles.
Ardith taught art in the Winfield public schools for several years. Tragically, she died of injuries sustained in an auto accident in October 1982.
Mike taught art and science in the Winfield public schools from 1978 until 2005, when he accepted a position as art instructor at Cowley College. He retired from Cowley in 2005 to pursue his own art more fully, but continues to work with evening ceramics and stained glass classes at Southwestern College. In 2012, he and wife Ann purchased the historic building at 1001 Main. Mike was instrumental in remodeling the building into Gallery 1001 and was one of its charter members.
“The last time I had a joint show with my mother Ardith was forty years ago. It was our senior art show at Southwestern College. It is fitting that now I celebrate a gift that she gave to others, the gift of art, with another joint show on the 35th anniversary of her death.”
Area residents remember Ardith’s warm, caring spirit and her enthusiasm for art and music. Many have her paintings in their homes. Some were fortunate to have her as an art teacher in the Winfield Middle School or for an evening class through Winfield Arts and Humanities. “She genuinely loved people, and pursued portrait painting as her passion,” son Mike recalled.
Ardith Fell was an accomplished musician in both piano and guitar. To honor her love of classical guitar, Tom Hoeffgen will provide guitar music at the opening reception Friday, Nov 4 from 5:30 until 7:00 pm. Both Mike Fell and his mother Ardith will be featured artists at Gallery 1001 during the month of November, a month they both shared as their birth months. Ardith’s art is featured as part of the gallery’s heritage art display this year. Some of her work from the 70’s and 80’s will be offered for sale to those who remember her fondly. All are welcome to stop by during the reception, or during November open hours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00 to 4:00.
Gallery 1001, 10th and Main in Winfield, is pleased to display paintings by Jan Klassen of Wichita through the months of September and October. Klassen is a member of Gallery XII, 412 E. Douglas in Wichita.
Her oil and acrylic paintings feature the beauty of natural landscapes. “My imaginary landscapes have the feeling of a moment in time, without interference from mankind. I love earth tones, rocks, sunsets and trees,” she explained. “The American Southwest is what most often inspires me.”
After a 20-year career in apparel retail as a buyer, department head, and fashion display, Jan discovered the artist in her soul as an antidote to empty nest syndrome. She enrolled in classes at a local community college and art appreciation was one of them. “The instructor for this class believed that the only way to appreciate art was to try it. She therefore incorporated hands-on projects of painting, drawing, clay work, collage, etc. into the curriculum.”
Jan found that she really enjoyed painting, and a passion was born.
In the twenty years since, she has continued to grow in knowledge and inspiration. She thrives in classes at the Wichita Center for the Arts. The energy and support of her fellow classmates are a vital link to inspiration and creativity. She frequently supplements her favorite media of oil and acrylic with added paper or other texturizing mediums for unique artwork.
“My paintings are more abstract than realistic because I am playing with my imagination,” she said. “I paint spontaneously, waiting for the paint to speak to me, allowing me to find new frontiers as I create.”
Jan and her pilot husband make frequent trips to visit their son who lives in Taos. These trips are definitely food for her artist soul, providing inspiration for her favorite subject, landscapes with no sign of habitation.
Gallery 1001 will host a reception in honor of the artistic visions of Jan Klassen, Friday, October 7 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Stop by to meet the artist and view her extraordinary paintings.
Gallery 1001 announces a special exhibit of paintings by the late Dorothy Hinkley, a beloved artist and art instructor in Winfield.
A limited number of her oil paintings are offered for sale through July and August, with a featured Heritage Exhibit during the first two weeks of August. Gallery members will host an open house Friday evening, August 5 from 5:00 until 7:00 pm to celebrate Hinkley’s contributions to art in the Winfield community.
Special guests at the August 5 Hinkley open house will be the music trio “Wind, Wood and Wire.” The trio of local musicians includes Sarah Emrick on guitar, autoharp, and mountain dulcimer. Karen Deal plays hammer dulcimer and mountain dulcimer. Rae Lynne Baker specializes in flute and autoharp. All three women contribute to the vocal parts in their unique music selections.
Born on a farm near Burden, Dorothy Hinkley lived almost her entire life in Cowley County. In 1957 she and her husband Bill opened Hinkley Auto Repair at 200 West 10th where they worked together for 27 years. Dorothy Hinkley also operated an art studio at that location where she offered art instruction. She studied with Emily Williams, Lewis Caton, and Sue Jean Covacevich-Boys as well as offering classes for local art enthusiasts herself.
Gallery 1001 member Dorothy Fisher recalled her experience in Hinkley’s classes. “She was an excellent instructor,” Fisher said. “I learned a lot from Dorothy Hinkley.”
Hinkley remained an art enthusiast throughout her life. She devoted her time to sharing art with the community. In 1962, she was one of eleven charter members of the Winfield Art Center, now known as Winfield Arts and Humanities Council. She served WAHC on the board of directors for twelve years in various offices including president, vice president, secretary and honorary president.
Hinkley helped organize the first Art in the Park event in 1974 and served as the committee chairperson for Winfield’s Art in the Park three years. She loved all varieties of art, as well as flower gardening and travel.
On display throughout July and August are six oil paintings by Dorothy Hinkley which are offered to the public for sale. Additional work on loan from Winfield Arts and Humanities Council will be on display during the first two weeks of August. Regular hours at the gallery are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, with the reception Friday August 5 from 5 – 7 pm.
As a bead artist, Marji’s designs were published several times in Beadwork magazine. Twice her work was featured on the front cover. She was also included in several additional publications and was working on a compilation of her designs using square stitch for Lark Books, which remains incomplete. Marji was gaining national recognition in the world of beading when she discovered she had breast cancer. She passed away in 2009 at the age of 55.
In addition to her beadwork, Marji designed knitted garments. She worked as a free-lance designer for Universal Yarns, a division of Santex, for several years.
Marji held multiple college degrees. She earned a degree in linguistics from KU in 1975, followed by two graduate degrees in Linguistics and Religion as a Fulbright Scholar from the University of Mainz in Germany in 1978. She spoke several languages fluently. Another Bachelor of Science degree from KU followed, with a new degree in pre-med and a graduate degree from the Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City in 1986.
Professionally, she worked as a medical transcriptionist. Though Marji held no official credentials related to art or design, she clearly transferred her passion for excellence to the pursuits of her heart in beads and textiles.
The beadwork of Marji Brohammer will be on display at Gallery 1001 June 1 – 10, 2016. There will be several of her knitting designs on display as well. The show will culminate in a celebratory reception to honor Marji and her life’s work in art on June 10, 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
At her family’s request, Tom Hoeffgen, Winfield guitarist, will perform classical guitar selections during the reception.
Marji’s sister, Martha Brohammer, is a member artist at Gallery 1001 and an art instructor in the Haysville, Kansas schools. Stop by the gallery to meet family members and view the beadwork of this talented artist in the final public display of her work.