TOPEKA LIBRARY -- From the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education to the invention of the flyswatter, Kansas has carved out a legacy beyond its “wheat state” reputation. Get a broader picture of Kansas’ historical and cultural significance at events commemorating 150 years of statehood.
Beginning on Anniversary Saturday, January 29, the Alice Sabatini Gallery hosts the Kansas 150/150 exhibit. Bring your friends to First Friday receptions Feb. 4 and March 4 for mingling and refreshments.
The show features 150 historic artifacts, ceramics, paintings, sketches, maps and books, including the first book ever published about Kansas. It contains a few chuckle-worthy passages persuading – perhaps even misleading – people to move to Kansas. It also includes art and artifacts relating to Kansas’ territorial days.
“Everyone will find at least one piece in the show that speaks to them. Through art, we’re telling the story of Kansas, from pioneer life to Topeka’s pioneering mental health legacy,” Sherry Best, Gallery Director, said, adding two of three of the pioneers in art therapy originated from Topeka’s Menninger Clinic.
This show features contemporary art, some by Topekans, along with artifacts dating back to the mid-1800s. The exhibit aims to get people thinking “where do we take Topeka from here. We’ve come this far. What next?” Best said.
“We want to give people that ‘ah ha’ moment that Topeka’s role is important,” she said. “The exhibit and the sesquicentennial celebration are about embracing our history for all Topekans, including area youth who might not know what significant things happened here. The library is a great venue for informing local kids of our state’s rich history.”
Tours of the exhibit, which is so packed it spills out of the gallery and into the main library areas, are available by request. Call 785-580-4515. The exhibit, which features all pieces from our permanent collection, closes March 11.
The stories of Kansas’ art and culture continue in library-produced videos online. Visit the Digital Branch Library, www.tscpl.org, for a new lesson about our state each Monday through the end of the year. Look for the sunflower button on the Home page for quick access.
Events tied to the Kansas 150/150 exhibit can be found in our connectnow magazine. Look for the sunflower logo.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 in the morning till 9:00 at night, Saturday from 9:00 till 6:00, and the hours on Sunday are Noon until 9:00pm.